More than 2,000 people with Type 2 diabetes have seen an improvement in their health through taking part in an NHS ‘soups and shakes’ diet programme, NHS England has said, with participants losing an average of 13kg (more than two stone) in three months.
The success of the programme means that it will now be rolled out within 11 more regions across the country, NHS England has added.
Diabetes is estimated to cost the NHS £10bn a year, with treatment making up one in 20 prescriptions written by GPs. It can also affect someone’s ability to be, and remain, in work.
It can mean employers needing to make adjustments such as extra breaks to accommodate fatigue, for example, or time for regular check-ups with a GP or diabetes specialist, separate spaces where employees can go to inject insulin, or education, awareness and training around hypoglycaemia.
According to NHS England, projections also show that, with the number of people being treated for diabetes continuing to grow, nearly 39,000 more people could suffer a heart attack in 2035, and over 50,000 could experience a stroke.
Diabetes and work
Early data from the soup and shakes programme showed participants each lost 7.2kg (over one stone) on average after one month, and 13.4kg (over two stone) after three months.
The year-long programme, which is supported and monitored by clinicians and coaches throughout, kickstarts weight loss through low-calorie diet-replacement products such as shakes and soups for the first three months.
After this, participants follow a carefully managed plan that healthy, nutritious food. Participants can also track their progress through virtual one-to-ones, group sessions and digital support.
Professor Jonathan Valabhji, NHS national clinical director for diabetes and obesity said: “This is also the latest example of the NHS rapidly adopting the latest evidence-based treatments 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.” he added.