The number of people with type 2 diabetes is increasing as a direct result of growing obesity levels, figures have shown.
According to government data, the overall rate of diabetes increased from 5.8 per cent of the population to 8.4 per cent between 1998 and 2004.
Meanwhile, the proportion of obese men rose by more than 40 per cent in the ten years to 2005, while the proportion of adult women needing obesity treatment rose by nearly 35 per cent.
Douglas Smallwood, chief executive of Diabetes UK, told the BBC that tackling type 1 and type 2 diabetes should be a government priority.
"There are now 2.2 million people in the UK living with the condition and up to a further 750,000 who have type 2 diabetes but don't know it, all of whom are potentially facing years of ill health and reduced life expectancy," he revealed.