One person in the UK is diagnosed with diabetes every three minutes, according to figures from the charity Diabetes UK.
An analysis of official statistics by the charity suggested the prevalence of the condition is growing all the time, with almost 150,000 people diagnosed with diabetes in 2008, compared with 100,000 in 2007.
Most are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, a condition mostly linked to lifestyle issues such as poor diet and a lack of physical activity.
Douglas Smallwood, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said the figures make it even more imperative that the government puts initiatives to tackle diabetes at the top of its health agenda. “People need to be supported to make changes to their lifestyles, such as eating healthily, losing weight if appropriate and being physically active, to reduce their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes,” he said.