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NHS England expands ‘soup & shake’ diet to thousands more patients with type 2 diabetes

17th May 2024 - 06:00
NHS England expands ‘soup & shake’ diet
Over 10,000 more people living with type 2 diabetes and obesity in England will be offered the NHS ‘soup and shake’ diets this year to help them lose weight and significantly improve their health.

The programme will now be available in 42 local health areas, up from 21 last year, meaning that eligible patients will be able to access it in every part of the country.

The 12-month innovative programme helps kickstart weight loss by providing participants with low calorie, nutritionally complete, total diet replacement products – such as soups, shakes and bars – consisting of 800 to 900 calories a day, for the first 12 weeks.

Participants are then supported by clinicians and coaches to reintroduce healthy, nutritious food into their diet to maintain weight loss; and their progress monitored. During the programme participants are able to choose how they are supported through one-to-one in-person sessions or digitally online.

Type 2 diabetes is a leading cause of preventable sight loss in people of working age and is a major contributor to kidney failure, lower limb amputation, heart attack, stroke and some cancers.

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.”

Over 20,000 people have already been offered the programme since it was first piloted by NHS England in 2020 as part of its long term plan. Participants typically lose 7.2kg (over one stone) on average after one month and an average of 13kg (over two stone) in three months.

Health chiefs are investing £13 million this year to support the programme’s expansion. The programme is offered to people who meet a set of criteria, which include those who:

  • Are aged 18-65-years-old
  • Have a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes within the last six years
  • Have a BMI over 27 kg/m2 (where individuals are from White ethnic groups) or over 25 kg/m2 (where individuals are from Black, Asian and other ethnic groups)
Written by
Edward Waddell