Treating diabetics 'relatively easy' with new NHS weight loss scheme, says scientist

1 September 2020, 16:09

By Seán Hickey

The scientist behind a new NHS weight loss programme to treat diabetics has told LBC the scheme is a "relatively easy way" to tackle the condition.

Professor Roy Taylor is Professor of Medicine and Metabolism at Newcastle University and part of the team which found a diet of soup and shakes is effective in drastic weight loss for diabetics - which has now been adopted by the NHS to save billions.

"Research over the last 12 years has led up to this program and has demonstrated that if a person has type two diabetes they personally can't handle that amount of fat," he told Shelagh Fogarty.

"They need to lose on average two and a half stone. That was a tall order, so we had to devise a really effective way of dealing with it."

Some 5,000 patients will get access to the diet programme after NHS England said results from a trial showed almost half of people who undertook the plan saw their type 2 diabetes go into remission after a year.

Shelagh wondered 'why can't it be done with 'ordinary food,'" but Professor Taylor insisted it can be done.

The soups and shakes method "is a relatively easy way to go about it and so it suits most people," he added.

Professor Taylor told LBC that the weight loss programme is leading new ground in fighting diabetes
Professor Taylor told LBC that the weight loss programme is leading new ground in fighting diabetes. Picture: PA

READ MORE: NHS soup and shake diet programme rolled out to help tackle diabetes

Professor Taylor went on: "This isn't a diet as such, this is a weight loss programme that gets the weight down over three months"

Shelagh noted that "one in three hospital deaths from Covid had diabetes" and Professor Taylor testified to the danger of living with diabetes.

"Type two diabetes is not a nice disease," he began, revealing that patients "lose around 6 to 8 years of life."

"This is a horrendous thing...some people can be cut off in their prime by this," and in another point of success for the treatment, he suggested that the drastic weight loss plan can help in preventing cancer in diabetics.

Professor Taylor noted that during research, there were five cancers found in the ordinary treatment group but none were found in the weight loss group.