Hundreds of fat children should be given NHS weight-loss ops

Hundreds of fat children should be offered NHS weight-loss surgery to reverse their diabetes, according to a leading medic.

Growing numbers of youngsters in England — some as young as six — suffer type 2 diabetes. The condition occurs when the body loses its ability to process sugar and is often sparked by obesity. 

It most commonly affects over-40s, who may have gained weight over decades, but the soaring obesity rate in under-18s has seen its level among young adults more than double in five years.

Now a surgeon has warned operations like up to £8,000 gastric bypasses and bands could be the only way to prevent diabetic children facing long-term damage. 

Dr Andrew Beamish, an adolescent obesity expert at Swansea University, said children should ideally be offered surgery soon after being diagnosed. 

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'We need to catch diabetes [in young people] early and we need to treat it with an operation,' he told the virtual Diabetes UK Professional Conference. 

'This is a much more aggressive disease that progresses much more rapidly than in adults. We need to make sure we shut the gates before the horse bolts.'

Hundreds of fat children should be offered NHS-funded weight-loss surgery to reverse their diabetes, according to a leading medic. (Stock)

Hundreds of fat children should be offered NHS-funded weight-loss surgery to reverse their diabetes, according to a leading medic. (Stock)

Andrew Beamish, an obesity expert, said fat children should be offered NHS surgery

Andrew Beamish, an obesity expert, said fat children should be offered NHS surgery

WHAT IS TYPE 2 DIABETES?

Type 2 diabetes is a condition which causes a person's blood sugar to get too high.

More than 4million people in the UK are thought to have some form of diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is associated with being overweight and you may be more likely to get it if it's in the family.

The condition means the body does not react properly to insulin – the hormone which controls absorption of sugar into the blood – and cannot properly regulate sugar glucose levels in the blood.

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Excess fat in the liver increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes as the buildup makes it harder to control glucose levels, and also makes the body more resistant to insulin. 

Weight loss is the key to reducing liver fat and getting symptoms under control.

Symptoms include tiredness, feeling thirsty, and frequent urination.

It can lead to more serious problems with nerves, vision and the heart.

Treatment usually involves changing your diet and lifestyle, but more serious cases may require medication.

Source: NHS Choices; Diabetes.co.uk

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There were 790 under-18s receiving treatment for type

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