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Soaring costs of diabetes drugs and the couch potato generation with no coordination

A round-up of the health news headlines on Wednesday 15 August

It seems like the Olympics spirit has finally left with the papers returning to doom and gloom and another NHS budget crisis. Most papers, including the Daily Mail, are today reporting that soaring prescriptions for diabetes threaten to bankrupt the NHS. It comes after figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre show a record 40 million prescriptions were made out for diabetes drugs last year, 50% higher than six years ago. The NHS diabetes drugs bill has risen from £514million in 2005/6 to £760.3million last year, the figures show. Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: ‘We face the real possibility of diabetes bankrupting the NHS within a generation. This is why we need to grasp the nettle on preventing type 2 diabetes.'

And finally,  the younger generation gets a look-in. The Daily Telegraph warns that children who spend more than three-quarters of their time in front of a screen, be it a TV or computer, are less coordinated than their more active peers. It comes from a Portuguese study of 200 children tested on their motor coordination skills, such as balancing and hopping over an obstacle. The most sedentary girls were four to five times less likely to have good motor coordination, and sedentary boys were five to nine time less likely to have the normal coordination skills, the American Journal of Human Biology reports. Study leader Dr Luis Lopes said: ‘The results demonstrate the importance of setting a maximum time for sedentary behaviour, while encouraging children to increase their amount of physical activity.'

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