Professor to explain research in diabetes programme.
Byline: Barbara Hodgson Reporter email@example.com
ANEWCASTLE academic who claims the rapid rise of diabetes could be reversed through a strict diet will be in the national spotlight today.
Professor Roy Taylor from Newcastle University is to feature in a special edition of BBC current affairs programme Inside Out which examines the diabetes epidemic sweeping the country and its effects on the NHS.
Viewers will hear about the latest findings by the expert whose research shows it is possible for sufferers of Type 2 diabetes to reverse the disease if they follow a strict diet of 800 calories a day.
The number of diabetes cases is escalating across the country, as the nation's obesity problem continues to grow, and the care bill is said to cost the NHS a staggering PS10bn a year - almost 10% of its entire budget.
Doctors and dieticians will also share their views and experiences in tonight's diabetes special alongside sufferers including The X Factor finalist Amelia Lily, from Middlesbrough, who suffers from Type 1 diabetes - which is often inherited - and will be talking about how she controls it.
But it's in Type 2 diabetes - the most common kind which is linked to obesity so is considered largely preventable - that Professor Taylor claims lifestyle changes could make an enormous difference.
Research by the acclaimed professor of medicine and metabolism at Newcastle University, who also works in Newcastle Hospitals, has shown that sufferers who lose weight see a reversal of their condition because fat is also removed from their pancreas, so allowing its insulin production - and their blood sugar levels - to return to normal.
Earlier this year, a new study of former sufferers showed they remained diabetes-free if they continued to keep their weight down.
The Inside Out programme will also investigate how, if urgent action is not taken, the crisis could push local health services to breaking point.
According to the charity Diabetes UK, there are now around 4.5m people in the UK with diabetes - many of them young - and cases are still on the rise.
Its chief executive Chris Askew says that if current trends continue then the situation "threatens to bankrupt the NHS".
He said: "I believe we're facing a crisis and we really need concerted action right across society for us to fund more research, provide best possible care and crucially prevent so many cases of Type 2 in future."
The programme will also look at issues such as the dangers of fizzy drinks and sugar; how Type 2 diabetes tends to be more common in the South Asian community and can lead to life-changing amputations; and at prevention and education.
Inside Out's Diabetes Special will air on BBC1 at 7.30pm and then will be available on the BBC iPlayer for 30 days.
We really need concerted action right across society for us to fund more researchChris Askew
X Factor finalist Amelia Lily will be talking about how she controls her Tyne 1 diabetes