Thousands to go on NHS low calorie diet plan to tackle Type 2 diabetes

NHS England Diabetes Prevention Programme
30/11/2018 - 10:08
Hundreds of thousands of people will receive NHS help to battle obesity and Type 2 diabetes under radical action set out by Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, today.

Very low calorie diets that have been shown to put Type 2 Diabetes in remission in those recently diagnosed with the condition will be trialed as part of the NHS’s long-term plan, which will increase the focus on prevention as well as treatment.

Stevens said: “The NHS is now going to be ramping up practical action to support hundreds of thousands people avoid obesity-induced heart attacks, strokes, cancers and Type 2 diabetes.

“The NHS Long Term Plan is going to give people the power and the support to take control of their own lifestyles – so that they can help themselves while also helping the NHS.

“Because what’s good for our waistlines is also good for our wallets, given the huge costs to all of us as taxpayers from these largely preventable illnesses.

“However this isn’t a battle that the NHS can win on its own. The NHS pound will go further if the food industry also takes action to cut junk calories and added sugar and salt from processed food, TV suppers and fast food takeaways.”

He said the moves would not just improve the health of patients but also save the NHS money that could be reinvested in frontline care. Currently, the health service in England spends around 10% of its budget on treating diabetes – about £9bn.

The scaling up of the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme scheme, the first in the world to become available country-wide, comes after it proved even more successful than planned with patients losing on average a kilogram more than expected.

The nine month programme helps people to:

* achieve a healthy weight

* improve overall nutrition

* increase levels of physical activity

Patients will be prescribed a liquid diet of just over 800 calories a day for three months and then a period of follow up support to help achieve remission of their Type 2 diabetes.

This approach will initially be piloted in up to 5,000 people following the Diabetes UK funded DiRECT trial, where almost half of those who went on a very low calorie diet achieved remission of their Type 2 diabetes after one year. A quarter of participants achieved a staggering 15 kg or more weight loss, and of these, 86% put their type 2 diabetes into remission.

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