Diabetes cases in Tower Hamlets are on the rise

The new ‘Food you love’ campaign hopes to encourage people to eat healthier. Pic: Diabetes UK

Residents living in Tower Hamlets are at risk of health complications such as type 2 diabetes as a result of poor diets, according to a survey carried out by Diabetes UK.

The survey, carried out across the UK, found that 66 per cent of adults eat three or fewer portions of fruit and/or vegetables a day with 46 per cent not eating any fruit for at least three days a week.

Diabetes UK commissioned the survey to promote its ‘Food you love’ healthy eating campaign as part of Diabetes Week (June 11-17) with the results being less than appeasing.

Whilst many people believe they lead reasonably healthy lifestyles, results of the survey found that three quarters of people (76 per cent), don’t know what makes up the recommended portion of vegetables, the answer being 80g.

Speaking after the results, Clinical advisor for Diabetes UK Emma Elvin said: “These survey results are a huge cause for concern when you recognise the fact that in the UK, 3.6 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes and 11.9 million people are at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.”

She believes that simple lifestyle changes such as eating more fruit and vegetables regularly, can be key to reducing risk and managing all types if diabetes with obesity being one of the biggest risk factors to developing the illness.

Diabetes is a serious illness and can affect anyone, with 59 per cent of people knowing someone with one of the two types.

Recent statistics show that in Tower Hamlets an estimated 16,419 adults (6.8 per cent of the registered population) have diabetes, compared to the figure of 6.5 per cent for England.

Whilst this figure may be increasing, data from Tower Hamlets Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) shows that the number of residents in the borough who have diabetes and are receiving the sufficient treatments has equally soared.

In the year 2006-2007 just 19.6 per cent of people with diabetes in Tower Hamlets were receiving treatment for their illness, with this now being at 79.9 per cent as of June 2014.

This means that despite cases of diabetes increasing in the borough overall, fewer of these are going undetected and as a result more people are able to live fairly regular lives, managing the illness.

Following the results of the survey Diabetes UK have now embarked on a new ‘Food you love’ advertising campaign as a way to get people eating more healthily.

The campaign involves five ‘everyday’ people cooking healthier versions of recipes they love, in hope of inspiring people to make small changes to their diet that will make big differences with how they manage their diabetes.

Along with the ‘everyday’ people, the campaign has received celebrity support from chefs including: Jamie Oliver, Prue Leith, ‘Deliciously’ Ella and Angela Hartnett.

Sign up to receive free recipe videos and more at www.diabetes.org.uk/feelgood-food before July 30 2017.

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