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Scottish type 2 programme ‘effective in delaying insulin’

By Editor
17th January 2018, Research Type 2 diabetes Type 2 prevention

A Scottish 16-week NHS lifestyle programme has been shown to halve the number of people with type 2 diabetes needing to progress to insulin.

A University of Glasgow study has provided evidence that the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Glasgow and Clyde Weight Management Service lifestyle programme can also prevent people from increasing their oral medication for the condition.

The findings also revealed all those who complete the entire programme are more likely to maintain weight loss over a three-year period, than those who drop out or are not referred.

Dr Jennifer Logue, lead author of the study from the University of Glasgow, said: “This is the first real-world study to show that the lifestyle weight management programmes that we deliver in the NHS can have a long lasting meaningful clinical effect on type 2 diabetes.

“This study shows that the common assumption that the weight lost is quickly regained is not true. Currently weight management programmes in the NHS are under-resourced and there is a lack of belief in their effectiveness by clinicians leading to low levels of referral, despite them being recommended by NICE.

“Our hope is that this study will convince patients, clinicians and NHS managers that these inexpensive programmes can make a clinically significant difference to patients with type 2 diabetes.”

The study examined records from the NHS 16-week lifestyle programme, which included a regime of diet, exercise and behaviour change. The programme consists of nine fortnightly classes. Researchers defined ‘success’ as losing 5kg in that nine-week timeframe. People could then choose to stay on for further weight loss and maintenance classes (one per month) over the next year. Those with type 2 diabetes had to have a body mass index of 30 or above, in order to qualify to be referred to the programme.

To judge whether the programme was a success, researchers compared the successful group against those who attended and didn’t lose weight, or those who didn’t complete, or those who were never referred.

The researchers believe these kinds of programmes need to be better resourced so that more patients can achieve the defined ‘success’ weight loss of 5kg. Currently, only a minority of those who attended the programme achieved the 5kg weight loss. However researchers believe that this number would go up in line with investment to address the accessibility of programmes, so that people are able to attend regularly while continuing with work and caring commitments.

Preventing and controllingtype 2 diabetes has become a health priority as numbers continue to increase. Another lifestyle intervention which has had much success is the Low Carb Program.

So far, more than 250,000 people from all over the world have downloaded the free web-based Low Carb Program, designed to be a healthy sustainable lifestyle intervention that is experience-led. The 10-week program takes people through the theory and also provides the practical application on how to implement a low carb lifestyle.

The Low Carb Program is the first evidence-based, digital structured education program aimed at educating people with type 2 diabetes about how a low-carb approach to management can help people lose weight, improve their health and wellbeing and their medication dependency.

The findings have been published in the Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism journal. To read the study, click here.

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