A doctor has said that people having no “self-control” contributes to type-2 diabetes, after latest figures show 169 amputations are happening every week due to the illness.
The number of amputations caused by diabetes has risen by almost 20% in four years, according to analysis by Diabetes UK.
Dr Laurence Gerlis, a GP at Same Day Doctor, told talkRADIO’s Mike Graham: “We are bombarded with the availability of food and people do not have self-control. Can we do something about it? Yes, but I think it is down to individuals.
“The sugar tax is probably a good idea but I don’t really want to penalise the less well-off in this country by taxing food.
“I don’t think that is fair. It is down to the individual and unfortunately the problem with having a system that is free to access is that people don’t take responsibility for their health.
“People now view that as someone else’s problem.”
'We are spoon-fed public health messages'
Between 2014 and 2017, 26,378 people had lower limb amputations linked to diabetes.
Graham agreed, adding that people expect to be “spoon-fed public health messages”.
“I think we now live in a society where people have abrogated their responsibilities,” he said.
“We are spoon-fed public health messages, we are spoon-fed how we should be behaving and I think you are absolutely right – when you do too much of that – people go ‘it is not my fault, nobody told me’.”
Talking about these health messages, Dr Gerlis said he did not believe they worked.
“We are bombarded with messages and I do not think they work. At the end of the day, it is down to being an individual,” he said.
“You only have one body and it has got to last you 90 years – why on earth would you not look after it?
“I am not advocating the US healthcare system but in the US people do take care of their health because it is going to cost them money to see a doctor.
“Having said that, they also have an obesity problem there. It really is an issue that we need to deal with.
“The Government can take some action to help but at the end of the day, it is the individual.
“You get a small ulcer on your foot when you have type-2 diabetes. It is not properly look after.
“You can’t get to see a doctor, and the next thing you know you need to have your foot, or half your leg, amputated.”
The charity found that 26,378 people had lower limb amputations linked to diabetes between 2014 and 2017, a 19.4% rise from 2010 to 2013.
Unhealed ulcers and foot infections have been found to be the main cause of diabetes-related amputations.