Experts say it can knock up to 20 years off a child's life expectancy. In addition, 60,000 children under 16 are thought to have weight-related metabolic syndrome - a combination of conditions including high blood pressure and raised cholesterol- which is said to be a precursor to type 2 diabetes.
Losing weight can help control the illness but many children cannot stick to the necessary healthy diet and exercise regimes.
Professor Shield believes gastric banding - in which an inflatable silicone ring is fitted around the top part of the stomach to make it smaller - could be the answer.
'The children we see with type 2 diabetes who really struggle to lose weight with other methods have all the health issues that adult diabetics have,' he said yesterday.
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