Retail giant Tesco has announced a new partnership with Diabetes UK after revealing that the number of people in the UK with diabetes has reached three million for the first time.

The partnership will see Tesco's customers, colleagues and suppliers raise £10 million to develop treatments, research possible means of prevention and raise awareness of the condition which affects 4.6 per cent of the population.

With the UK having the fifth-most under 14s with diabetes and a further 850,000 estimated to have undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes, Diabetes UK's chief executive says urgent action is required.

"We are hugely concerned that the number of people diagnosed with diabetes has reached three million for the first time and there is no reason to think this will mark the end of what has been a rapid rise in the condition," Barbara Young said.

"Instead, all the projections suggest that the three million figure will be a grim staging post on the road towards a public health emergency and this unfolding tragedy is already putting huge pressure on the NHS and will have potentially devastating consequences for those people who develop the condition. But this is not inevitable.

"By identifying those at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, we can ensure they start getting support to make the kind of lifestyle changes that can help prevent it."

Funds raised by the partnership will help fund the following initiatives:
· Pioneering research into a vaccine for Type 1 diabetes, offering real hope for thousands of children and adults across the globe for a future without this type of the condition.
· The biggest ever public awareness campaign on Type 2 diabetes risk factors aiming to reach the estimated seven million people at high risk.
· Through risk assessments available to customers in our pharmacies, we will help to identify some of the 850,000 people who have undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes.
· Providing information and advice to almost a million people with Type 2 diabetes and will also fund a series of “Living with Diabetes” days around the UK that will help people newly diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes understand how to best manage their condition.

Rebecca Shelley, Group Corporate Affairs Director at Tesco, added: "Diabetes affects millions of families and communities across the UK and as today’s news confirms, the number of people with this condition is increasing.

"Thanks to this important partnership, we have the opportunity to inspire our colleagues and customers to come together, raise awareness and much needed funds to help the millions of people with diabetes in the UK."

Posted 04/03/2013 by