FAT children should be given NHS weight-loss ops to reverse their diabetes, a surgeon claims.
Procedures like the £6,000 gastric band fitting may be the only way to save Type 2 under-18s as drugs are not as effective as in adults.
Growing numbers — some just six — are developing the disease due to obesity, rising from 340 in 2013/14 to 790 in 2018/19.
It is a main cause of amputations, blindness and heart disease.
Andrew Beamish, a lecturer at Swansea University, said: “We need to catch diabetes early and treat it with an operation.”
He told the virtual Diabetes UK Professional Conference: “This is a much more aggressive disease that progresses much more rapidly than in adults.
“We need to make sure we shut the gates before the horse bolts.”
Only 18 under-18s had weight-loss surgery for diabetes in 2017.
Diabetes UK called for a national policy on child obesity.
What is diabetes?
DIABETES is a condition caused by high levels of glucose – or sugar – in the blood.
Glucose levels are so high because the body is unable to properly use it.In people diagnosed with diabetes, their pancreas doesn’t produce any insulin, or not enough insulin.
Insulin is a hormone typically produced by the pancreas and allows glucose to enter the cells in the body, where it’s used for energy.