Thousands of people with Type 2 diabetes in England are to be prescribed a very low-calorie diet in the hope of reversing their condition, according to a news report on the BBC. Under the pilot they will be restricted to 800 calories a day, in the form of soups and shakes, for three months. In a trial that took place in 2017 almost half of those involved apparently managed to put their diabetes into remission. Up to 5,000 patients will be prescribed the diet by the NHS initially and receive follow-up support. Prof Jonathan Valabhji, national clinical director for diabetes and obesity for NHS England, acknowledged the diet is challenging and it does not suit everyone, saying, “But we think it is worth exploring the implementation of these programmes within the NHS so that those who could benefit, can benefit.”
Meanwhile, a Type 2 diabetes prevention programme has also been running in England for the past three years and has seen encouraging results. So far, more than 250,000 people who were on the cusp of developing Type 2 diabetes have been referred to classes that offer advice and support on food, diet and exercise. On average, participants have each lost 8lb (3.6kg) in weight, greatly reducing their risk of developing the condition. Dr Shareen Forbes, reader in diabetes and endocrinology at the University of Edinburgh, said: “There are now a number of studies that demonstrate remission of Type 2 diabetes with weight loss. Such interventions can have significant economic impacts given the levels of Type 2 diabetes now in society. These are important clinical studies.”
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