NHS ‘soup and shake’ diets to tackle obesity and diabetes across UK

'Soup and shake' diets will be made available across the UK to tackle obesity and reverse type 2 diabetes, NHS England has announced.

‘Soup and shake’ diets will be made available across the UK to tackle obesity and reverse type 2 diabetes, NHS England has announced.

This comes as the NHS Type 2 Diabetes Path to Remission Programme is being expanded. As a result, over 10,000 more people living with type 2 diabetes or obesity will be offered NHS soup and shake diets.

The programme will now reach 42 local health areas, meaning patients across the whole of England will be able to benefit from it. This is up from 21 local health areas last year, meaning the programme will double its capacity.

NHS England’s Type 2 Diabetes Path to Remission Programme is a shared initiative with Diabetes UK. The 12-month programme provides eligible patients a low calorie, diet replacement treatment such as soup, shakes and bars. Patients also have access to clinicians and one-to-one sessions to help reintroduce healthy food into their diet.

Since it was piloted in 2020, over 20,000 people have been offered the programme. Data shows that the programme is effective and can successfully improve diabetes control and support weight loss.

NHS England says the programme’s expansion will help thousands more people across the UK manage their weight and improve their health.

‘Truly life-changing’

Amanda Pritchard, NHS chief executive, said: ‘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.

‘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.

‘I’m delighted that thousands of people have already accessed this support on the NHS to improve their health and that many thousands more are now set to benefit this year as we roll it out to every area of England.’

Colette Marshall is chief executive of Diabetes UK. She said: ‘Diabetes UK is proud to have funded over a decade of research that has forged new frontiers for people with type 2 diabetes and put remission on the map.

‘We’re delighted that the NHS England Type 2 Diabetes Path to Remission Programme has already helped thousands of people on their weight loss and remission journey, and this expansion means that many more people with type 2 diabetes will benefit.’

Improve heart health

This comes as a new study found that weight loss jabs could reduce the risk of heart attacks.

Researchers at University College London looked at semaglutide, a drug which suppresses appetite. Their research involved some 17,604 people over the age of 44 from 41 different countries.

The study found that, even if the drug does not help to reduce obesity, it can benefit cardiovascular health. Professor John Deanfield, who led the study, believes the findings have ‘important clinical implications’.

As a result, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has supported the expansion of rolling out weight loss jabs on the NHS to tackle health problems such as heart disease.

A spokesperson for Sunak said: ‘This new study is welcome because we know the potential for obesity medicines to help more people both lose weight but, as this study suggests, also cut wider health conditions.

‘That’s why we are committed to the safe introduction of new approved weight-loss drugs into the NHS, as well as improving access to existing drugs for those who meet the eligibility criteria.’

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