Type 2 Diabetes: The NHS offers 800-calorie dietary treatment

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Ultra low calorie diet, which can reverse type 2 diabetes, is part of the NHS pilot program in England.

The 800-pound daily diet using liquid food and cocktails will be prescribed for three months, initially for 5,000 people and subsequent support.

Nine out of ten people with diabetes in the UK have a type 2 that is strongly associated with diet and lifestyle.

The NHS England program, which prevents the development of type 2 diabetes, is also expanding.

At the end of last year's trial of a very low calorie diet, almost half of the people involved have been able to reverse this condition.

Now a wider range is needed to assess whether this success can be replicated in the wider population.

"Patient benefit"

Prof Jonathan Valabhji, National Clinical Director for Diabetes and Obesity for NHS England, recognizes that the diet is undoubtedly demanding and does not suit everyone.

"But we think it is appropriate to look at the implementation of these programs within the NHS so that those who could benefit can benefit," he said.

While Type 2 diabetes may have a genetic component, it is strongly associated with overweight or obesity.

Approximately two thirds of adults and one third of children are currently overweight or obese, which increases the rate of this disease.

Type 1 diabetes is on the other hand an autoimmune disease that is not associated with overweight or inactivity.

What is type 2 diabetes?

  • This is a common condition that causes the level of sugar (glucose) in the blood to become too high
  • This is caused by a chemical problem in the body (a hormone) called insulin
  • Type 2 diabetes can cause symptoms such as excessive thirst, need for much sealing and fatigue
  • It can also increase the risk of serious problems with your eyes, heart and nerves

The Type 2 diabetes prevention program has been in England for the last three years and has been encouraging.

To date, more than 250,000 people who have been at the forefront of type 2 diabetes have been reliant on classes that offer advice and support on food, diet and exercise.

On average, each participant loses a weight of 8 lb (3.6 kg), significantly reducing the risk of developing diabetes.

Now the program is also undergoing a significant expansion to help 200,000 people a year.

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Prof Valabhji says it is important for the program to continue showing results.

"Of course, what counts at the end of the day is whether we are preventing the development of type 2 diabetes.

"We have an independent evaluation of the program, which will focus mainly on whether we have prevented diabetes from individuals participating in the program.

"Secondly, we have the ability to assess whether the program has positively influenced the overall rate of Type 2 diabetes in the entire population."

Chris Askew, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said plans to double the size of the NHS Diabetes Prevention Program were "excellent news".

"The ambitions shown by the NHS have to be met in all government policies – we need stronger marketing campaigns for children and clearer nutrition labeling to help people make healthy choices," he said.

Simon Stevens, CEO of NHS England, said: "What's good for our belts is also good for our wallets, given the enormous cost to us as taxpayers of these highly preventable illnesses."

But he said the NHS could not carry this fight alone.

"The NBS will continue to do so if measures to reduce unwanted calories and adding sugar and salt from processed food, TV dinners and fast food are also taken in the food industry," said Mr Stevens.

The announcements come from what is known as a forward plan for the NHS in England, which is expected to take a strong emphasis on measures to prevent ill health.

Do you have type 2 diabetes? Would you take part in this low-calorie diet if your GP offered it? Have you been similar to a diet in the past? E-mail

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