THOUSANDS of Brits are set to be given soup and meal replacement shakes as the NHS attempts to tackle type 2 diabetes.

Over 5,000 patients in 10 areas across the country will be provided with the “very low calorie options” from today.

One in ten people over the age of 40 in the UK have type 2 diabetes[/caption]

The NHS has hailed the diet as a “life changing programme” and claims that such plans have been known to put type 2 diabetes in remission for people who have recently been diagnosed with the condition.

Treatment for diabetes patients is believed to cost the NHS around £10 billion a year.

Data from the health service also suggests that one in twenty prescriptions written by GPs are for the treatment of diabetes.

It comes just a month after the NHS launched its Better Health scheme, to help the nation tackle the ongoing obesity crisis.

The new plan is set to provide patients with “total diet replacement products”.

This includes low calorie soups and shakes for three months and they will also be given support to increase their exercise levels.

They will also be offered plans for reintroducing ordinary foods after three months.

CAN I GET SOUPS AND SHAKES ON THE NHS?

The new programme rolled out by the NHS is available in the below areas.

  • North East and Yorkshire: South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw ICS and Humber Coast & Vale
  • North West: Greater Manchester Health & Social Care Partnership
  • South East: Frimley Health and Care STP 
  • South West: Gloucestershire STP 
  • Midlands (West and East): Derbyshire and Birmingham and Solihull STP
  • East of England: Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK)
  • London: North East London and North Central London

Professor Jonathan Valabhji, NHS national clinical director for diabetes and obesity said: “This is the latest example of how the NHS, through our Long Term Plan, is rapidly adopting the latest evidence-based treatments to help people stay well, maintain a healthy weight and avoid major diseases.

“There has never been a more important time to lose weight and put their Type 2 diabetes into remission, so it’s good news for thousands of people across the country that practical, measures like this are increasingly available on the NHS.”

Research had previously suggested that people with type 2 diabetes were more likely to die if they contracted the coronavirus.

Patients with the condition are twice as likely to die. Patients with the condition accounted for 32 per cent of hospital deaths during the coronavirus pandemic.

Eligible patients will be able to refer themselves for the new plan online and will not need to be referred by their GP.

People living with type 2 diabetes and those who have been diagnosed in the last six year will be considered.

WHAT IS TYPE 2 DIABETES?

Type 2 diabetes is the more common form of the disease – accounting for between 85 and 95 per cent of all cases, according to Diabetes UK.

Type 2 diabetes is the more common form of the disease – accounting for between 85 and 95 per cent of all cases, according to Diabetes UK.

It develops when the insulin-producing cells in the body are unable to produce enough insulin.

It can also be triggered when the insulin that is produced doesn’t work properly.

Typically, people are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes from the age of 40, but there are some exceptions.

In people from southern Asia the disease can appear as early as 25.

And the condition is becoming more prevalent in children, teenagers of all ethnicities.

Experts suggest the rising rates of type 2 diabetes is due to the obesity epidemic – a key cause of type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes can be treated with drugs, and many people can reverse their condition by adopting a healthy lifestyle – a healthy diet and exercise.

One of the first patients to be enrolled on the scheme said she has seen an improvement.

Bev said her goal had been to lose five per cent of her body weight, which she achieved in six weeks.

“In total I’ve lost over 10kgs, my type 2 diabetes is now in remission and I no longer have to take any medication – I am over the moon.

“Since the low-calorie diet programme, my mind set has totally changed for the better and I look at food differently now – my shopping habits are far healthier and, when I eat out, I’ll go for a healthier option. The programme has taught me moderation.

“My skin is clearer, and people say that I’ve got my sparkle back – I didn’t realise that I’d lost it but now I see that I definitely had. I can honestly say that the low-calorie diet programme changed my life for the better.”

Charities have hailed the new plan as an “important step”.

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Bridget Turner, director of policy campaigns and improvement at Diabetes UK, said: “This is an important first step to ensure that people with type 2 diabetes, can access a remission programme within the NHS and benefit from the ground-breaking findings of the Diabetes UK funded DiRECT research.

“We know that some people with type 2 diabetes want and need support from health care professionals to lose weight effectively and now as these programmes are piloted across the NHS – they will.

“People with type 2 diabetes who have put their diabetes into remission frequently tell us how it has changed their lives.

“We are so pleased to see that others will now have the same opportunity and hope that it won’t be too long before more remission programmes are rolled out across the country.”

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