17 December 2018

NHS England to trial 800 calorie diet for type 2 diabetes patients

Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, recently announced that next year, up to 5,000 type 2 diabetes patients will be prescribed a liquid diet of just over 800 calories a day for three months, to see if it puts them into remission. 

Stevens said: "The NHS is now going to be ramping up practical action to support hundreds of thousands people avoid obesity-induced heart attacks, strokes, cancers and Type 2 diabetes. The NHS Long Term Plan is going to give people the power and the support to take control of their own lifestyles – so that they can help themselves while also helping the NHS.

“Because what’s good for our waistlines is also good for our wallets, given the huge costs to all of us as taxpayers from these largely preventable illnesses. However this isn’t a battle that the NHS can win on its own. The NHS pound will go further if the food industry also takes action to cut junk calories and added sugar and salt from processed food, TV suppers and fast food takeaways.”

The pilot follows a Diabetes UK trial in which almost half of participants who undertook a very low calorie diet achieved remission of their type 2 diabetes after one year, with a quarter dropping 15kg or more.

Diabetes UK chief executive Chris Askew said: ‘The first year results of Diabetes UK DiRECT study showed that – for some people with type 2 diabetes – an intensive, low-calorie weight loss programme delivered with ongoing support through primary care could put their condition into remission.

‘While this groundbreaking study continues to explore how long-lasting these benefits are, we are delighted that NHS England have been inspired by this work to pilot a type 2 remission programme through the NHS.’ 

Online versions of the programme will also be provided for patients who find it difficult to attend sessions because of work or family commitments, the announcement added.

What do you think? Is the 800 calorie diet a good idea? Comment and let us know your thoughts!