• Friday, June 21, 2024


NHS expands ‘soup and shake’ diet plan to fight diabetes

The programme will now be available in 42 local health areas

Representational image (iStock)

By: Pramod Thomas

OVER 10,000 more people living with type 2 diabetes and obesity in England, many of whom are of Indian and south Asian heritage, will be offered the NHS’s “soup and shake” diet plan to aid weight loss.

The radical NHS Type 2 Diabetes Path to Remission Programme is being expanded as part of a new plan to double its capacity this year. The programme will now be available in 42 local health areas, up from 21 last year, ensuring eligible patients can access it across England.

“The expansion of this transformative programme is another example of the NHS leading the way internationally by providing evidence-based treatments and support to empower people with type 2 diabetes,” said NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard.

“Developing type 2 diabetes can have a devastating impact, and this NHS programme can be life-changing in reversing its effects, reducing the risk of significant health complications, and supporting long-term wellbeing.”

The programme is offered to individuals who meet specific criteria, including being aged 18-65 years, diagnosed with type 2 diabetes within the last six years, and having a high body mass index (BMI). Patients of Indian and south Asian heritage are considered at higher risk in this regard.

Thousands have already benefited from the 12-month soup and shake diet, which kickstarts weight loss by providing low-calorie, nutritionally complete meal replacement products for the first 12 weeks.

Participants are then supported by clinicians and coaches to reintroduce healthy, nutritious food into their diet to maintain weight loss, with their progress monitored.

During the programme, participants can choose between one-to-one in-person sessions or digital support online with the NHS. Analysis shows the programme is effective, with participants typically losing 7.2kg on average after one month and 13kg after three months, similar to clinical trial outcomes. This suggests the programme could lead to type 2 diabetes remission in up to half of those who complete it.

“Weight loss can lead to significant health benefits, including for some, remission of type 2 diabetes, and it’s important the NHS offers accessible services tailored to managing this condition,” said NHS national clinical director for diabetes and obesity Dr Clare Hambling.

“Remission from type 2 diabetes can transform health and wellbeing and potentially reduce the risk of serious long-term complications,” added Colette Marshall, chief executive of the charity, Diabetes UK.

The Type 2 Diabetes Path to Remission Programme is a joint initiative between NHS England and Diabetes UK, based on two large studies showing that overweight people with type 2 diabetes can improve their diabetes control, reduce diabetes-related medication, and, in some cases, achieve remission through specially designed programmes.


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