The number of children globally with diabetes may have spiked 40 percent over the past three decades, which has seen calls for Kiwis to change their lifestyle.

Director of A Better Start National Science Challenge Wayne Cutfield spoke with AM Show’s co-host Ryan Bridge this morning to discuss the alarming rates of the Diabetes epidemic in Aotearoa New Zealand as new Chinese research found a 39.4 percent increase in the number of children with diabetes globally.

Liggins Institute Professor of paediatric endocrinology and insulin sensitivity expert Wayne Cutfield told AM, New Zealand has one of the fastest climbing rates – which is concerning. “We’ve been collecting data for almost 50 years, the rate of type 1 diabetes in children has marched up 3 percent per year, doesn’t sound much, but it compounds,” he told co-host Ryan Bridge.

“So over almost 50 years, that’s a 150 percent increase in type 1 diabetes and that’s not showing any signs of slowing down, it just keeps marching up. So we’ve got type 1 in children marching up but we’ve also got type 2 rearing its head and beginning to march up in children.”

Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are chronic diseases, but type 1 is a lifelong auto-immune condition where people must replace insulin to survive, while remission from type 2 can sometimes be achieved by lifestyle changes and weight loss.

Watch the full AM Show interview here

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