What is the NHS Low Calorie Diet Programme?

You may have seen in the news the NHS Low Calorie Diet Programme has launched. The programme provides a low-calorie diet treatment for people who are overweight and living with Type 2 diabetes helping them to improve their diabetes control, reduce diabetes-related medications and even achieve remission. We are delighted that Greater Manchester has been chosen as one of ten national pilot sites.

Background to the programme

Part of the NHS Long Term Plan, the NHS Low Calorie Diet Programme follows on from two previous studies; DiRECT and DROPLET. The Diabetes UK-funded ‘DiRECT’ trial saw almost half of those who went on a low-calorie diet achieve remission after one year. A quarter of participants achieved a 15kg or more weight loss, and of these, 86% put their Type 2 diabetes into remission.

What does the programme entail?

Eligible participants will be offered low calorie, total diet replacement (TDR) products including soups and shakes consisting of up to 900 calories a day for up to 12 weeks.

Alongside this, participants will receive support for 12 months including help to re-introduce food after the initial 12-week period. Group based sessions will initially be offered online in Greater Manchester to comply with social distancing guidelines but may move to face-to-face in the future. The programme and TDR products are free of charge to participants.

Who is eligible for the programme?

People living with Type 2 diabetes who have been diagnosed with the condition in the last six years will be considered for the pilots. Individuals must also meet other eligibility criteria to be referred to the service to ensure the programme is right for them. You can find a list of the eligibility criteria here

How do I join the programme?

We are starting to roll out the programme across Greater Manchester over the coming months, so your GP might not be able to make a referral just yet. We will update this page with further details on areas as they start the roll out the programme, in the meantime you might want to look over the list of eligibility criteria or discuss with your GP or practice nurse. If you have any further questions you can email the team at england.diabetesmyway@nhs.net