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Thousands to benefit from soups and shakes diet on the NHS

Thousands of people will be able to access NHS soup and shake weight-loss plans to tackle type 2 diabetes.

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NHS has made its soup and shake weight-loss plans to tackle type 2 diabetes available in specific sites in the country.

The diet and lifestyle plans have been shown to put Type 2 diabetes into remission for people recently diagnosed with the condition, and will now be provided to 5,000 more patients in 10 areas as the first stage in an NHS drive to increase access to the life-changing programme.

Diabetes is estimated to cost the NHS £10 billion a year, while almost one in 20 prescriptions written by GPs is for diabetes treatment. The year-long plans will see those who could benefit provided with ‘total diet replacement products’, such as shakes and soups, for three months, alongside support to increase their exercise levels.

To help people maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid complications linked to obesity patients will also be offered managed plans for reintroducing ordinary, nutritious food, with ongoing support from clinicians and coaches after that. Results from one trial showed almost half of those who went on the diet achieved remission of their Type 2 diabetes after one year.

NHS research earlier this year revealed people with Type 2 diabetes are two times more at risk of dying from coronavirus. A further study published last week by the University of North Carolina found that people with obesity are 113% more likely to be admitted to hospital with coronavirus and 74% more likely to need intensive care treatment.

As well as helping individuals lead happier and healthier lives, enhanced action on obesity and diabetes is also expected to save the NHS money and free up staff time.

Professor Jonathan Valabhji, NHS national clinical director for diabetes and obesity said: “This is the latest example of how the NHS, through our Long Term Plan, is rapidly adopting the latest evidence-based treatments to help people stay well, maintain a healthy weight and avoid major diseases.
“There has never been a more important time to lose weight and put their Type 2 diabetes into remission, so it’s good news for thousands of people across the country that practical, supportive measures like this are increasingly available on the NHS.”

This latest announcement builds on the NHS Long Term Plan’s success in rolling out new ways of supporting people with diabetes. 

The programme is in addition to the world-leading Healthier You NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme has had over 600,000 referrals into the scheme. Individuals who are eligible can refer themselves into the programme online rather than needing a GP referral.

North East London, and North Central London is one of the sites rolling out the low-calorie diet programme.

The other sites rolling out the low-calorie diet programme are:

  • North East and Yorkshire: South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw ICS, and Humber Coast & Vale STP
  • North West: Greater Manchester Health & Social Care Partnership
  • South East: Frimley Health and Care STP
  • South West: Gloucestershire STP
  • Midlands (West and East): Derbyshire STP, and Birmingham and Solihull STP
  • East of England: Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) ICS
    London: North East London, and North Central London

Black and other minority ethnic (BAME) suffer disproportionately from many chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes. Prevailing statistics suggest that African Caribbean adults are up to three times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than people of white European origin. Reasons for racial disparities in diabetes prevalence are not clear, but behavioural, environmental, socioeconomic, physiological, and genetic contributors have all been postulated.

Some analysts have suggested the one-size-fits-all strategies to prevent or control the development of Type 2 diabetes can be less effective in UK Black African Caribbean communities.

In June, the NHS launched new online tools for people living with diabetes.

Three new services will allow people to manage their condition online. There is a range of online videos and training available on each app for children and adults.

Recent findings show that people with diabetes face a significantly higher risk of dying with COVID-19. However better management of the condition can help improve control and lead to better outcomes.