More than 700 people a day diagnosed with diabetes

7 Jul 2014

More than 700 people a day are diagnosed with diabetes in the UK, according to new analysis by Diabetes UK and Tesco. The findings of the analysis have been released as Diabetes UK and Tesco announce that their National Charity Partnership is being extended until the end of 2014.

More than 700 people a day are diagnosed with diabetes in the UK, according to new analysis by Diabetes UK and Tesco.

The analysis, based on National Diabetes Audit data, shows that 738 people a day are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, which has being overweight as the biggest risk factor. A further 30 people per day are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, which tends to affect younger people and is not linked to weight. Type 2 diabetes now accounts for 96 per cent of new cases of diabetes.

The figures mean there are more than 280,000 people a year diagnosed with diabetes, the equivalent of the population of Newcastle. This is much higher than previously thought and illustrates how the rise in diabetes, with 3.8 million people in the UK now having the condition and with around 35 per cent of the population – more than 18 million people – with pre-diabetes, there are serious implications for the nation’s health.

Diabetes UK is calling for more focus on preventing Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes UK would like to see everyone aged 40 to 74 get an NHS Health Check and for greater investment in ensuring those people identified at high risk get the support they need to help prevent it.

The findings of the analysis have been released as Diabetes UK and Tesco announce that their National Charity Partnership is being extended until the end of 2014. The Tesco – Diabetes UK partnership is one of the biggest retail charity partnerships in the UK. The partnership has raised £12 million since March 2013 and has used Tesco’s scale to deliver more than 100,000 risk assessments for Type 2 diabetes, both in pharmacies and online, to help prevent people developing the condition. It has also given thousands of people with diabetes more of the information and support they need to successfully manage their condition.

Tesco colleagues and customers are now aiming to raise a total of £18 million to support Diabetes UK’s work. Tesco’s decision to extend the partnership– the first time it has done this – reflects that the scale of diabetes means it is now one of the biggest health threats facing the UK. It is projected that the number of people with diabetes will rise to 5 million by 2025.

The extra money is expected to fund diabetes research, promote healthy eating in families and help en sure children with Type 1 diabetes get the support they need in schools.

Barbara Young, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said: “It is deeply worrying that more than 700 people a day are being diagnosed with diabetes and this clearly shows the frightening scale of what is fast becoming a national health emergency.

“If we continue to see people being diagnosed at this rate then the consequences will be disastrous.  As the number of people with diabetes grows, we are likely to see even more people endure devastating health complications such as amputation and kidney failure and more people die tragically young. It would also lead to an increase in NHS costs that would be simply unsustainable.

“As a country, we are still not giving diabetes healthcare the priority it needs and we also need to get much better at preventing Type 2 diabetes before it is too late.

“But our National Charity Partnership with Tesco has made a real difference. Over the last year Tesco has used its reach to enable us to give a huge number of people potentially lifesaving information about how they can manage their diabetes and to risk assess more than 117,000 people for Type 2. This will have a real impact in reducing diabetes complications and help to prevent the rising tide of Type 2 diabetes. The extension of the partnership means many more people will get the support they need to have the best possible chance of a long and healthy life.”

Greg Sage, Community Director for Tesco said: “Diabetes is a growing and urgent health threat that needs immediate action.

“We’ve raised over £12 million so far through our partnership with Diabetes UK, and today’s announcement means there will be more support for the millions of people living with diabetes from our colleagues and customers. Tesco colleagues have embraced the partnership and demonstrated real dedication to raising money for this important cause.

“At Tesco we’re also working to help people reduce their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by helping people lead healthier lives - we have cut the number of calories by billions across our ranges, and we will be the first major retailer to remove sweets and chocolates from checkouts across all stores.”

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For further media information please contact Richard Evans on 020 7424 1152 or the Diabetes UK Media Relations Team on 020 7424 1165 or email

For urgent out of hours media enquiries only please call 07711 176 028. ISDN facilities available.

About Diabetes UK:

  • Diabetes UK is the leading UK charity that cares for, connects with and campaigns on behalf of all people affected by and at risk of diabetes.  For more information on all aspects of diabetes and access to Diabetes UK activities and services, visit
  • In the UK, there are around 3.8 million people who have diabetes.  There are more than 3.2 million people living with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, and around 630,000 more who have Type 2 diabetes but don’t know they have it because they haven’t been diagnosed.  As many as 7 million people are at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and if current trends continue, an estimated 5 million people will have diabetes by 2025.
  • Diabetes is a condition where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly.   If not managed well, both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can lead to devastating complications.  Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in people of working age in the UK and is a major cause of lower limb amputation, kidney failure and stroke.
  • People with Type 1 diabetes cannot produce insulin.  About 10 per cent of people with diabetes have Type 1.   No one knows exactly what causes it, but it’s not to do with being overweight and it isn’t currently preventable.  It usually affects children or young adults, starting suddenly and getting worse quickly.  Type 1 diabetes is treated by daily insulin doses - taken either by injections or via an insulin pump – a healthy diet and regular physical activity.
  • People with Type 2 diabetes don’t produce enough insulin or the insulin they produce doesn’t work properly (known as insulin resistance).  85 to 90 per cent of people with diabetes have Type 2.  They might get Type 2 diabetes because of their family history, age and ethnic background puts them at increased risk.  They are also more likely to get Type 2 diabetes if they are overweight.  It starts gradually, usually later in life, and it can be years before they realise they have it. Type 2 diabetes is treated with a healthy diet and increased physical activity.  In addition, tablets and/or insulin can be required.
  • For more information on reporting on diabetes, download our journalists’ guide:

About the Tesco National Charity Partnership:

  • Diabetes UK is Tesco’s National Charity Partner. Tesco and Diabetes UK have already raised £12 million and hope to raise even more funds to create healthier communities for everyone affected by, and at risk of, diabetes.
  • The partnership aims to support the 3.8 million people who have to live with diabetes every day; and help hundreds of thousands of people take action to reduce their risk of Type 2 diabetes.  It will also see investment into ground-breaking research.
  • Since 1988, Tesco has chosen a different charity partner to be the focus for colleague fundraising.
  • The partnership will be supported by a range of product promotions in Tesco stores and online which will carry a donation to Diabetes UK. Tesco Bank will continue to donate 0.0125p for every transaction made at ATM’s at Tesco stores. Clubcard customers can also donate their points to Diabetes UK.
  • For more information on how the partnership between Tesco and Diabetes UK aims to create a healthier future for people affected by diabetes or at risk of developing it, go to

For more information please contact the Tesco Press Office on
01992 644645

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