NHS diabetes programme to pilot low calorie diets

Very low calorie diets will be piloted at scale by the NHS from next year in patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. 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 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 15 kg or more weight loss, and of these, 86% put their type 2 diabetes into remission.

NHS England has also announced that it will be doubling the size of the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NHS DPP) scheme, a partnership between PHE, NHS England and Diabetes UK, to make it available country-wide. The nine month programme aims to help people to achieve a healthy weight, improve overall nutrition and increase levels of physical activity.

Currently, the health service in England spends around 10 per cent of its budget on treating diabetes.

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