A special programme looking at the impact of diabetes across the nation will air on television tonight.
BBC regional current affairs programme Inside Out will examine the impact that diabetes is having on the nation, and the NHS, across the country.
The programme will speak to doctors, dieticians and patients from every corner of England - including the North East - about the growing crisis that could push local health services to breaking point.
In the programme, health correspondent Dominic Hughes will hear from the man who ignored his diagnosis for 20 years and has now had three toes amputated, and the 16 year-old who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes after eating too many sweets and fizzy drinks.
Middlesbrough-born X factor finalist Amelia Lily will feature on the show and explain how she controls her type 1 diabetes. Professor Roy Taylor from Newcastle University, who claims it’s possible to reverse type 2 diabetes by following a strict diet of 800 calories a day, will also appear.
According to Diabetes UK around 4.5 million people in the UK now have diabetes and the number is continuing to rise. Most of them have type 2 which is linked to obesity and is largely preventable.
Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, Chris Askew, says: “As things stand we are certainly looking at a crisis in diabetes which threatens to bankrupt the NHS if we continue with these current trends.
“I believe we’re facing a crisis and we really need concerted action right across society for us to fund more research, provide best possible care and crucially prevent so many cases of type 2 – in future.”
Urgent action is vital according to the National Clinical Director for Obesity and Diabetes at NHS England.
Professor Jonathan Valabhji says: “We need to stem the tide otherwise we could see a crisis and there are issues of sustainability for the NHS if we do nothing differently.”
Inside Out’s Diabetes Special will air on BBC One at 7.30pm.