• Tuesday, June 18, 2024


NHS expands ‘soup & shake’ diet plan to combat diabetes

The Type 2 Diabetes Path to Remission Programme is a joint initiative between NHS England and Diabetes UK

By: Eastern Eye

MORE than 10,000 more people living with type 2 diabetes and obesity in England, many of them of south Asian heritage, are to be offered the NHS’s “soup and shake” diet plan to help them lose weight.

The radical NHS Type 2 Diabetes Path to Remission Programme is being rolled out under a new expansion plan to double its capacity this year.

It will be available in 42 local health areas – up from 21 last year – meaning that eligible patients will be able to access it in every part of 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 help give people with type 2 diabetes more control over their health,” said NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard.

“Developing type 2 diabetes can have a devastating impact for so many people and their families, and this NHS programme can be truly life-changing in helping reverse the effects of the condition, reducing their risks of significant health complications and supporting them to stay well for the long-term.”

The programme is offered to people who meet a set of criteria, which include those who are aged 18-65 years, have a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes within the past six years, and have a high body mass index (BMI) – with patients of south Asian heritage considered at higher risk on this parameter. Thousands have already benefited from the ‘soup and shake’ diet – a 12-month programme which helps kickstart weight loss by providing participants with low calorie, nutritionally complete, total diet replacement products such as soups, shakes and bars, consisting of 800 to 900 calories a day, 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 being monitored.

During the programme, participants can choose how they are supported through one-toone in-person sessions or digitally online with the NHS. Analysis showed the programme is effective and can work successfully to improve people’s diabetes control and support weight loss, with participants typically losing 7.2kg on average after one month, and an average of 13kg in three months. This is similar to the outcomes seen in clinical trials.

“Weight loss can lead to significant health benefits, including for some, remission of type 2 diabetes, and it’s important the NHS offers a wide range of services that are easy to access and tailored to those looking to manage their condition,” said NHS national clinical director for diabetes and obesity, Dr Clare Hambling.

“Type 2 diabetes is caused by a range of factors from genetics to where the body stores fat, with our food environment also playing a significant role. Remission from type 2 diabetes can transform health and wellbeing and potentially reduce the risk of serious long-term complication of diabetes,” said Colette Marshall, chief executive of the charity Diabetes UK.

The programme is a joint initiative between NHS England and Diabetes UK. It is based on two large studies which showed that, as a result of going on a specially designed programme, people living with type 2 diabetes who were overweight could improve their diabetes control, reduce diabetes-related medication and, in some cases, put their type 2 diabetes into remission.

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