• Barry Singleton

Scaled Insights Supports NHS Low Calorie Diet Program Research


Predicting low calorie diet outcomes from the NHS England Low Calorie Diet Programme, in collaboration with University of Leeds, University of Liverpool, Leeds Beckett University, & University of Teeside


The NHS is delivering a new programme which provides a low calorie diet treatment for people who are overweight and living with Type 2 diabetes. Scaled Insights are part of the collaborative research group assessing the real-world implementation of the trial evidence.


The research has received £1,502,156.92 of funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Services and Delivery Research funding programme. It will run between November 2020 and October 2023.


It is estimated that 3.5 million people in the UK are currently living with a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. In England, 26% of men and 29% of women live with obesity. Adults who live with obesity are seven times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.



As part of its long-term plan to provide targeted support, and access to weight management services, for people recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes with a BMI of 27 kg/m2 and above (or over 25 kg/m2 in people of Black, Asian or minority ethnic origin), NHS England and NHS Improvement has launched a pilot low calorie diet programme across 10 areas of the country to run over the next three years.


The programme is based on two large studies which showed that, as a result of going on a specially designed programme, people living with type 2 diabetes who were overweight could improve their diabetes control, reduce diabetes-related medication and, in some cases, put their type 2 diabetes into remission.


Eligible patients are provided with low calorie, nutritionally complete, total diet replacement products - including soups, bars and shakes - consisting of up to 900 calories a day, for up to 12 weeks. This is accompanied by 12 months of support to help patients re-introduce food and maintain their weight loss following completion of the period of total diet replacement, which is provided either in a group, one-to-one, or via digital technology.


For more information on the program click here.


The programme is based on two large studies which showed that, as a result of going on a specially designed programme, people living with Type 2 diabetes who were overweight could improve their diabetes control, reduce diabetes-related medication and, in some cases, put their Type 2 diabetes into remission (no longer have diabetes).


The NHS and its partners Public Health England and Diabetes UK are now testing different models of providing this service when it is made more widely available on the NHS.


The pilot programme was initially offered to up to 5,000 people in selected areas across England. The learning from the pilot will help to build knowledge and understanding about the use of of interventions such as this and the impact that they might have on the treatment of people living with Type 2 diabetes in future.

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