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An innovative NHS low calorie diet programme which has already helped more than 2000 patients with Type 2 diabetes in England to lose an average of 13Kg in the first three months, and can lead to remission of Type 2 diabetes,  is being launched in Somerset from today.

In Somerset, the NHS low calorie diet programme will be rolled out over the next two years to support up to 500 patients who have Type 2 diabetes, starting with patients at the Beckington Family Practice  in Frome, Somerset.

Dr Henk Bruggers, NHS Somerset’s Clinical Lead for the NHS low calorie diet programme says:-

“Also known as the ‘soup and shakes diet’ this life-changing weight loss programme for people with Type 2 diabetes helps them achieve significant weight loss. It also embeds healthier eating habits, thus helping people to improve their diabetes control, reduce diabetes-related medication and potentially achieve remission of Type 2 diabetes. This weight loss will go a long way to help patients with Type 2 diabetes stay well and avoid preventable illness.

“Currently, we have over 35,700 people in Somerset who have diabetes, with an additional 2000 people being diagnosed across Somerset each year at a cost of over a £1million a year to the NHS in Somerset”.

The NHS Low Calorie Diet Programme

The year-long programme sees participants provided with low calorie, total diet replacement products, such as shakes and soups, for three months, alongside support and monitoring.

Early data from the ongoing programme suggests participants each lose 7.2kg (over one stone) on average after one month, and 13.4kg (over two stones) after three months.

Importantly, the data also shows that if this weight loss is maintained at the six-month point –almost 50% of people on the programme with similar weight loss achieved remission of Type 2 diabetes at one year.

In Somerset it will be delivered via a face-to-face group programme.

Professor Jonathan Valabhji, NHS national clinical director for diabetes and obesity said:

“This is the latest example of the NHS rapidly adopting the latest evidence-based treatments and practical, supportive measures to help people with Type 2 diabetes live well.

“With research showing that obesity causes more severe illness from Covid-19, as well as other serious diseases, there has never been a more important time to lose weight.”

Chris Askew OBE, Chief Executive at Diabetes UK, said: “We’re delighted to see the expansion of NHS England’s free weight-loss programme for people living with Type 2 diabetes.

“Remission can be life-changing, offering people a better chance of a healthier future. Today’s announcement means that many more people across England who are living with Type 2 diabetes and overweight will have the chance to get the support they need to go into remission.

“Diabetes UK is also committed to funding research to find other effective ways to put Type 2 into remission, ensuring more people have the chance to go into remission in a way that works best for them.”