IT'S fair to say a few of us put on a few pounds over lockdown.
While trapped at home with not much else to do, many people turned to the fridge for comfort – and even for entertainment.
But our lockdown eating patterns have had a particularly disastrous impact on the young.
Since restrictions were lifted, medics have seen a steep rise in type 2 diabetes among children – a disease most commonly seen in overweight adults.
Professor Joan Taylor, from De Montfort University, warned that now-a-days, "most people" were already on their way to developing diabetes by their 30s.
"It's only the slim, athletic types that stay like that into their 30s and 40s that are not," she added.
The professor of pharmaceutics suggested that young people should consider cutting carbohydrates out of their diets.
She has also said that NHS guidance – which currently says carbs should make up just over a third of what we eat -should be dropped to around 10 per cent.
Speaking at the British Science Festival, she said that cutting food like bread and potatoes could result in people losing weight.
Losing weight is a good thing for reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
The illness occurs when the body loses the ability to metabolise sugar, mainly as a result of weight gain and poor lifestyle.
It is currently one of the leading causes of blindness amputation, stroke and heart disease.
Prof Taylor said: "If you can cut it down to 10 per cent – bearing in mind that the NHS recommendation is about 35 per cent – then you lose weight, which is a good thing for metabolic syndrome and type 2.
"It will also help your blood glucose comes down to normal."
According to Diabetes UK, in 2021 some 4.1 million people were living with a diagnosis of any type of diabetes, and an additional 850,000 had type 2 diabetes but were yet to be diagnosed.
However, Prof Taylor thinks as many as one in 10 people could be developing diabetes without knowing it.
She said: "If you talk to diabetologists, they will tell you that most people from their 30s onwards are beginning to put on the kind of weight these days that means then moving into the metabolic syndrome, that then is a route to diabetes."
This is even more of an issue among black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities, she added.
Metabolic syndrome is the medical term for a combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.
Diabetes UK reports that, if nothing changes, 5.5 million people in the UK will have diabetes by 2030.
The charity estimates that one in three adults in the UK have pre-diabetes, which means their blood glucose levels are above normal but below the threshold for a diabetes diagnosis.
Around 90 per cent of people with diabetes have type 2, around 8 per cent have type 1 diabetes, and about 2 per cent have rarer types of diabetes.
Treating diabetes costs the NHS £10 billion a year and is responsible for one in 20 prescriptions written by GPs.
Recent research has found that a glass of milk a day slashes diabetes risk by ten per cent.
Here's how you can reduce your risk…
You should be aiming for at least 30 minutes of exercise five days a week, health bosses say.
A mixture of metabolic exercise, such as running or cycling, combined with two sessions of strength training is the most effective way to remain healthy.
A lack of sleep is associated with eating more unhealthy food, getting less exercise and a higher risk of type 2 diabetes.
Experts from Toho University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan recently discovered that losing just one night's sleep was enough to increase your risk of diabetes.
A recent study found that replacing carbohydrates with unsaturated fats could improve insulin sensitivity in some people.
The 2012 study looked at how different fad diets impacted insulin sensitivity in adults with high blood pressure.
It concluded eating a diet low in carbs and high in unsaturated fats for six weeks may reduce the risk of diabetes.
Fibre is a vital part of any diet, you need to be eating enough to lose weight and prevent disease.
Eating a diet rich in whole grains, fruit and vegetables will help ensure you are eating the right amount of fibre every day.
Soluble fibre is the fibre that comes from plants.
The body cannot break it down properly, so it doesn't contribute to spikes in our blood sugar levels like refined carbs do.
It also delays how long it takes for the food to move from the stomach to the small intestine, and some studies have suggested that may also help lower blood sugar levels.
The effect of fasting on your risk of diabetes is somewhat unclear.
Some studies have suggested that fasting can increase your insulin sensitivity, therefore decreasing your risk of the disease, while others have said the opposite.
A 2014 review investigated how intermittent fasting affected overweight and obese adults.
The were asked to reduce their calorie intake by 75 per cent for one to three days, alternating between fasting days and normal eating days.
Experts found that intermittent fasting reduced insulin resistance, but had no impact on blood sugar levels.
Studies have suggested that probiotics, or omega-3 fatty acids, can improve insulin sensitivity.
Probiotics, or levels of good bacteria in the gut, are even thought to help us lose weight.
They are often added to yoghurts or taken as food supplements that are thought to help restore the natural balance of bacteria in your gut.
Magnesium is a vital nutrient for the body.
It helps regular nerve and muscle function, blood sugar levels and blood pressure.
Keeping blood pressure and blood sugar levels in check is important in the fight against diabetes.
Some studies have suggested that a magnesium supplement can also help improve insulin sensitivity.
Foods rich in magnesium include avocado, nuts, legumes, dark chocolate and whole grains.
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