The number of children developing Type 2 diabetes will continue to rise unless the Government takes 'bold' action in its childhood obesity strategy, council leaders have warned.
New figures show more than 500 children in the UK have Type 2 diabetes, mainly due to unhealthy eating or a lack of exercise.
The LGA said this should serve as a ‘wake-up call’ to the nation, and is calling for new measures to be included in the strategy such councils having the power to ban junk food advertising near schools, teaspoon sugar labelling in fizzy drinks and greater provision of water in schools.
LGA community wellbeing spokeswoman, cllr Izzi Seccombe, said: ‘Type 2 diabetes is normally associated with adults, so it is a major concern that we are seeing this in children and teenagers.
‘This is a wake-up call for the nation as the Government faces a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take radical game-changing action in its forthcoming childhood obesity strategy. We cannot afford to delay any longer.’
The first cases of Type 2 diabetes in children were diagnosed in overweight girls of Asian ethnic origin in 2000 and first reported in white adolescents in 2002.