Around 145,000 people have been diagnosed with diabetes over the last 12 months, the Department of Health says.
Type 2 diabetes - traditionally linked to obesity, a lack of exercise and an unhealthy diet - remains the most common form of the condition, affecting more than 90% of sufferers.
Now experts say they may push for the introduction of weight reduction surgery as a way to tackle the epidemic.
Professor Nick Finer, chair of Experts in Severe and Complex Obesity, said: "On World Diabetes Day we should be focusing on the ever-increasing population of those with type 2 diabetes that is linked to severe obesity.
"Type 2 diabetes management is long term, but when linked to severe obesity, there are treatment options that could not only put type 2 diabetes into remission but bring those with a BMI of over 35 into a healthy weight category that can be sustained."
Studies have shown that over 90% of patients with type 2 diabetes who had surgery found their condition improved.