Over 5000 people with type 2 diabetes will be prescribed new diet plans to combat the condition, NHS England has announced.
The diet plans, known as ‘soups and shakes diets’ have been shown to put Type 2 diabetes into remission for people recently diagnosed with the condition, and will now be provided to 5000 more patients in 10 areas as the first stage in an NHS drive to increase access to the life-changing programme.
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.
‘This is an important first step to ensure that people with type 2 diabetes, can access a remission programme within the NHS and benefit from the ground-breaking findings of the Diabetes UK funded DiRECT research,’ said Bridget Turner, Director of Policy Campaigns and Improvement at Diabetes UK
‘We know that some people with type 2 diabetes want and need support from health care professionals to lose weight effectively and now as these programmes are piloted across the NHS - they will. People with type 2 diabetes who have put their diabetes into remission frequently tell us how it has changed their lives. We are so pleased to see that others will now have the same opportunity and hope that it won’t be too long before more remission programmes are rolled out across the country.’
Results from one trial showed almost half of those who went on the diet achieved remission of their Type 2 diabetes after one year. The research earlier this year revealed people with Type 2 diabetes are two times more at risk of dying from coronavirus.
A further study published 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.
‘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,’ said Professor Jonathan Valabhji, NHS national clinical director for diabetes and obesity
‘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.’