Thousands more people with type 2 diabetes will now benefit from the NHS soup and shakes diets across England.
The Type 2 Diabetes Path to Remission programme was piloted in 2020 as part of the NHS Long Term Plan.
New data has shown its effectiveness at helping people to lose weight, and it is now to be expanded
Currently it is only available in 21 areas of England, but patients in every part of the country are to have access to the diets by March 2024.
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Speaking at Diabetes UK Professional Conference, NHS England’s national clinical director for diabetes and obesity, Professor Jonathan Valabhji, set out the pilot’s latest findings. It showed that participants lost an average of over 13kg in three months which was maintained at six months.
Professor Valabhji said: ‘Research is clear that weight loss where indicated goes a long way to helping people stay well and avoiding preventable illness, and in many cases it can be the trigger for putting type 2 diabetes into remission.
‘So I am delighted that thousands more people are making use of this programme with thousands more set to benefit across England in the coming year.’
The programme works by providing people with low calorie, total diet replacement products such as shakes and soups for the first three months, supported by clinicians and coaches.
Following this, a carefully managed plan then reintroduces health, nutritious food back into participant’s diets.
Ingo from Windsor had taken part in the programme and said: ‘I was determined to put my type 2 diabetes into remission, so I took the programme extremely seriously. During the total diet replacement phase, I followed all the advice given and was guided and motivated throughout; I had one shake every four hours, which gave me the perfect structure to work with and, as you begin to see the results, it is very rewarding. Making changes is difficult but the ongoing support makes it easier.’
Since Ingo’s initial diagnosis he has lost 47kg from taking part in the programme saying that it has allowed him to now have a good relationship with themselves and food.
Chief executive of Diabetes UK, Chris Askew said he was ‘thrilled’ that the programme would be rolled out country wide.
‘Today’s important announcement is the result of over a decade of research funded by Diabetes UK, and we are proud that our ground-breaking DiRECT trial – which recently reported its five-year findings – has been central to making this possible. The expansion of this programme will offer even more people with type 2 diabetes a better chance of a healthier future.’