Sickle Cell: Global Health Priority

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  • Published On: 25-05-2024


The public health issue is problem which influences significant portion of certain population making them develop chronic illness or infectious diseases that compromises their health and well-being (van Straten and Lancee, 2020). In the UK, there are wide variety of health issues such as smoking, substance and alcohol misuse, deprivation, poverty and others. However, the two most key health issues found to be prevalent in UK among the adult and intricately linked in obesity and type-2 diabetes. Thus, in this study, the two inter-related health aspects are to be focused to inform the factors leading to their increased prevalence among the population. Moreover, the role of health professionals in controlling and preventing the spread of the condition is also to be discussed.


Prevalence of Type-2 Diabetes and Obesity in adults

Type-2 Diabetes is referred to a long-term health condition which leads the body unable to produce insulin in normal amount leading the blood sugar levels to be unusual (Zheng et al., 2018). In the UK, nearly 3.9 million people are found to be living with diagnosed diabetes and 90% of them are considered to have type-2 diabetes. Moreover, there are additional people who are not yet diagnosed with diabetes but is suffering from the health issue leading the total prevalence of diabetes to be around 4.8 million a reported in 2019 (, 2020). There has been a stiff rise of 100,000 individuals affected by diabetes in the UK since the last year (, 2020). This indicates that the diabetes as a health issue is rising at an increased rate in the UK making it one of the vital conditions to be focused for health management. In another report, it is mentioned that 28% of the adult population in the UK are obese (, 2021). In addition, 62% of the adults who are between 18-54 years and 48% of the adults above the age of 55 years who are found to be obese is also affected by type-2 diabetes (, 2014). This indicates that considerable number of people in the UK are obese or overweight and more than half of these people are affected by type-2 diabetes which makes obesity is the additional disease that is a key risk factor for high prevalence of the type-2 diabetes.

Factors contributing to the rise of type-2 diabetes and obesity in adults in the UK

One of the key factors responsible in causing type-2 diabetes and obesity is lack of physical activity or minimum physical exercise been executed by the adults. This is because lack of physical activity leads the muscle cells unable to create the need of using insulin and glucose as no need of huge amount of energy is created in the body of sedentary action (Cradock et al., 2017). Moreover, the lack of physical exercise leads the body barely use the increased amount of energy taken through food, in turn, leading the energy consumed to be stored as fat in the body. It contributes to raise the body weight and makes the individuals obese (Carter et al., 2020). In the UK, it is seen that 34% men and 42% women does not perform effective physical activity. Moreover, it is reported that the population has become 20% less active since 1960s and according to current trend they will be 35% les active by 2030 (GOV, 2019). This indicates that physical inactivity is highly persistent in the UK adult population and thus it is one of the key factors contributing to the rise of obesity a well as type-2 diabetes.

2.1 COVID 19 Pandemic a Challenge

It is argued by Caspard et al. (2018) that obesity leads the muscle cells of the body to be surrounded by fat, in turn, making them have less ability in using insulin from the blood and develop insulin-resistance. This insulin resistance created due to obesity contributes the individuals to gradually develop type-2 diabetes as the blood sugar level are unable to be controlled in usual manner. The Diabetes UK Society mention that obesity is one of the greatest risk factors for diabetes and contributes in nearly 80-85% cases to cause type-2 diabetes. Moreover, it is seen that being overweight or obese lead the people to be 5 times more likely to get diabetes compared to normal individuals (, 2020). Thus, obesity and type-2 diabetes are found to inter-linked and rising at an increased rate.

The inadequate in take of food is found to be another factor that is contributing to the high prevalence of type-2 diabetes and obesity. This is because intake of unhealthy food in increased amount leads to cause elevated level of triglycerides in the body along with low amount of good cholesterol. It creates insulin-resistant fat cells to release free fatty acids to be taken by liver, in turn, contributing to the liver to develop hindrance in adequately release inulin in the blood to control blood sugar level (Ma et al., 2020). Moreover, increased intake of high amount of fatty foods leads toward deposition of fat in the body which contribute to overall rise in body weight and gradually develop obesity (Hall, 2018).

Role of health professionals in controlling and preventing the spread of the disease

The different professional involved in caring to reduce, prevent and control prevalence of type-2 diabetes and obesity are diabetologist, dieticians, health and social care professionals, nurses and other. The role of the diabetologist is to coordinate the diabetic educators, ophthalmologist, podiatrist, diabetic nurses and renal physicians in monitoring a patient suffering from diabetes (Nagi et al., 2019). This is because prolonged type-2 diabetes leads people to develop leg ulcer, diabetic neuropathy, higher kidney and renal functions out of destruction of healthy body and nerve cells due to high amount of glucose in the blood. Thus, in this condition, coordinating the podiatrist who manages and prevent leg ulcer, ophthalmologist who controls, manages and try to prevent hindered eye functioning and renal physicians who control, and treats hindered renal functioning in people with or without diabetes is important for better health of the patients with type-2 diabetes (Messenger et al., 2018).

The diabetologist also has the role to prescribe effective medication to the patients to control and prevent diabetes. This is significant because proper dose of medication ensures keep the insulin and blood sugar level under control in diabetes patient, in turn, helping them to lead a normal; and healthy life (Nagi et al., 2019). The diabetic educators play the key role of educating the patients with type-2 diabetes about the do and don’ts in everyday life to be followed to control and prevent relapse of diabetes. Moreover, they educate the patients regarding the way to monitor their blood sugar level which is important so that immediate actions can be taken in sudden fluctuation of blood sugar level which at times may cause extensive deteriorated health condition (Świątoniowska et al., 2019).

The dieticians ha the role to provide instructions regarding the diet to be followed and provides diet chart according to the health condition of the people that helps in controlling and preventing type-2 diabetes and obesity This is because controlled diet with intake of effective amount of nutrient as needed by the body leads the body avoid deposition of fat in the body which is responsible for obesity and ensures greater control over blood sugar level by reducing increased glucose to be produced in short time (Siopis et al., 2020). The role of health and social care professionals in developing awareness through health promotion campaign regarding obesity and type-2 diabetes. This contributes in lower the prevalence along with control and prevention of the diseases as people become aware through the health promotion regarding the actions to be avoided in their everyday life and way behaviour change is to be made to avoid getting affected by obesity or type-2 diabetes (Sami et al., 2017). The physical trainer plays a key role in case of obese individuals to involve them in physical activity. They help in preventing and controlling obesity as they provide instructions to the patients regarding the way to perform physical activity as well as support them in performing the activities to avoid living sedentary lifestyle (Branco et al., 2021).


The above discussion informs that type-2 diabetes and obesity are key prevalent health issues in the UK and they are inter-linked as obesity is risk factors for type-2 diabetes. The factors like physical activity, hindered food intake, sedentary lifestyle and other are risk factors for both the diseases. The diabetologist, podiatrist, renal practitioner, physical trainer and others are key professionals who play the role in controlling and preventing type-2 diabetes and obesity.

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