This site is intended for health professionals only

‘Soup and shakes’ diet programme being rolled out across England

‘Soup and shakes’ diet programme being rolled out across England

The NHS type 2 diabetes path to remission programme is being expanded to cover the whole of England this year, doubling its reach from last year.

The programme, a joint initiative between NHS England and Diabetes UK, provides a total diet replacement treatment for those living with type 2 diabetes and obesity, including soups and shakes. It is a 12-month programme to ‘kickstart weight loss’.

It had previously covered 21 out of 42 integrated care board areas last year, but it will now be expanded to cover all areas, with £13m invested to expand the service.

Community pharmacies and GPs in all areas of England will be able to refer patients to the scheme.

Over 20,000 patients have been offered the programme since it was piloted in 2020, with those taking part typically losing 7.2kg on average after one month, and 13kg on average in three months, according to NHS England.

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.’

Impact of obesity

It comes as a report by charity the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) suggested that obesity is having a negative impact on the economy.

The report looked at rates of economic inactivity from the ONS and rates of obesity from a Sport England survey.

It found that over three in 10 adults have obesity in the most deprived parts of England, compared with ‘close to’ two in 10 of those in the least deprived.

Four out of the five worst constituencies were also located in the North of England, compared to four out of five of the best in the South.

The IPPR called on the government to intervene via a ‘comprehensive societal approach’ including ‘building a healthier food system.

Dr Jamie O’Halloran, senior research fellow at IPPR, said: ‘Poor public health is holding back the UK economy, and obesity is playing a significant role. The poorest regions across England are feeling this epidemic the worst.

‘This is not the fault of individuals. The government’s laissez-faire approach to public health has been a failed experiment. We need our institutions to step up to regulate unhealthy food, use taxes and subsidies to make the healthy option the cheaper option, and invest in the NHS, local councils and education so that health can be the cornerstone of UK prosperity.’

This article first appeared on our sister title Healthcare Leader.

See how our symptom tool can help you make better sense of patient presentations
Click here to search a symptom