Type 2 diabetes: researching long-term solutions

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  • Diabetes expert Professor Nicholas Wareham explains how activity, fizzy drinks, fast food outlets, fat storage, sugar taxes, genetic risk and more contribute to a person’s chances of developing type 2 diabetes.

    His groundbreaking work on the relative importance of genetic and environmental factors has been key in developing public health strategies to ameliorate the rising tide of type 2 diabetes across the globe.

    Over 400 million people currently live with diabetes, of whom 4 in 5 live in low and middle income countries. The lasting health impacts of the disease present a serious and growing challenge to sustainable economic development for these nations.

    For every 20 minutes more physical activity a week, a person’s risk of diabetes goes down by around 15%.

    For every can of fizzy drink less consumed a week, the risk of diabetes goes down by around 20%.

    Professor Wareham’s work into the interplay between genetic and environmental risk factors is used by health bodies around the world to try and sustainably improve the lives of people likely to develop diabetes. His research, including many international studies involving hundreds of thousands of people, has been used to develop population-wide interventions such as increasing physical activity and reducing the consumption of fast food and sugar-sweetened beverages through methods such as the sugar tax.

    Professor Nicholas Wareham is the Director of the MRC Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge. He gave this presentation ‘Type 2 diabetes: the search for sustainable solutions’ as part of the Academy of Medical Sciences New Fellow’s Admissions Day 2019, held on 26 June. On this day, the Academy welcomed 57 Fellows for their formal admission.

    Read more about Professor Wareham’s work
    http://www.mrc-epid.cam.ac.uk/people/nick-wareham/

    For more information about New Fellows Day 2019, visit
    https://acmedsci.ac.uk/more/news/celebrating-our-new-fellows-2019

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