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Diabetes: Young People

Volume 503: debated on Monday 11 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many children under the age of 16 years old are being treated for diabetes in (a) England, (b) Leicester and (c) the East Midlands. (308737)

Sufficient data to answer the question are not collected routinely. Participation in the National Diabetes Audit (NDA) is not mandatory. The NDA does not have one hundred per cent. coverage or participation and therefore cannot provide the information required.

Data from ‘Growing Up with Diabetes: Children and Young People with Diabetes in England’ reported that in February 2009 there were 16,219 children under the age of 16 in England with diabetes and 950 children under the age of 16 in the East Midlands strategic health authority (SHA) with diabetes. Data are available at SHA level only, not for individual primary care trusts.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the link between diet and diabetes in children. (308743)

The Department's National Institute for Health Research is supporting research relating to diabetes in children and associated risk factors such as obesity through the University College London Hospitals biomedical research centre, and through its programme grants for applied research and research for patient benefit funding schemes.

The Yorkshire register of diabetes in children and young people is funded by the Department's policy research programme. Its aim is to describe the epidemiology of diabetes, investigate the molecular and environmental causes of the disease, and facilitate health services research.

Evaluation of the evidence base linking diet to chronic diabetes has informed Government policy on obesity as set out in the strategy document, ‘Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives,’ and promoted via social marketing campaign Change4Life.

The Department continues to monitor emerging research findings in this area.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much funding has been allocated for the prevention of diabetes in children in the next 12 months. (308746)

There are currently no evidence-based interventions that can prevent onset of type 1 diabetes. Therefore, there is no specific funding allocated in the next 12 months for the prevention of type 1 diabetes in children.

Type 2 diabetes is much rarer in children than type 1, and there is a strong evidence base closely linking type 2 diabetes with obesity and inactivity.

The Government are helping to prevent type 2 diabetes in children through cross-government strategies like ‘Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives’ which has an aim to reduce the proportion of overweight and obese children, and schemes such as the £75 million Change4Life social marketing programme, which helps individuals and families to make changes for a healthier lifestyle.

We are investing in research into all areas of diabetes. The Department and the Medical Research Council jointly are currently investing around £51 million into diabetes related research.