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Diet schemes are the tip of the iceberg (lettuce)

Diet schemes are the tip of the iceberg (lettuce)

Shakes and soups are the answer to diabetes, apparently.

A recent announcement from NHS England outlined how patients with type 2 diabetes can reverse their condition if they lose weight, and that this can be achieved by patients going on a soup and shake diet for a few months.

This did not strike me as particularly new and then I realised why – a virtually identical scheme was announced by NHS England in 2018.

No, it is not news that losing weight can reverse your diabetes, and surprise, surprise, if you live only on 800 Kcal a day for a few months, you will lose weight.

These schemes come and go, but always irritate me – because they’re barely scratching the edge of the obesity iceberg (lettuce).

Let’s say you get an obese patient to take up the offer of a low calorie shake diet (unlikely), get them to stick to it for several months (more chance of the Government accepting the blame for their cock-ups, quite honestly) and lose the weight. What happens afterwards? They cannot go on living on liquid meals for the rest of their life so no, they go back out into the obesogenic environment they originally grew fat in and put it all on again.

An obesogenic environment that, let’s remember, until recently, we were being sponsored by the Government to indulge ourselves in.

You can force a lion to be vegetarian if you lock it in a cage and feed it nothing but vegetables. Release it back into the wild, though and for certain it’s going to choose antelope over asparagus.

We’re not going to make any impact on the obesity epidemic in this country until unhealthy food is very expensive and difficult to access. To do that would mean taking on the powerful food industry, and I can’t see any members of the current Government having the gonads for that.

So for the foreseeable future, I guess we can expect more of the same old being re-hashed and sold to us as if it were new.

Sort of summarises the NHS, doesn’t it?

Dr David Turner is a GP in North West London


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Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

Patrufini Duffy 2 November, 2020 8:35 pm

Yes. New gimmicks with leaflets and bunting destined for the recycling bin. I like how the page had sponsorship from Novo Nordisk for T2DM drugs…another industry, like food, that likes people to be sick and decrepid. We’ve lost the meaning of health, joy, happiness, sharing, compassion and wellbeing. The NHS is the ultimate billionaires business of the sick, and to convince you that you are sick and you “need” something – the best in the world at health anxiety and fear. The EMIS/System one codes will soon end up with USA insurance companies. That the public do not realise. You only get QOF points if your new hypertensive is dished out statins, otherwise zero points, you fail. That would be an interesting article. “The sources of sickness advertising”.

Christopher Ho 3 November, 2020 9:34 am

“We’re not going to make any impact on the obesity epidemic in this country until unhealthy food is very expensive and difficult to access. ”

BS. You don’t know your history. Tell me, was prohibition successful? Has making alcohol and cigarettes more expensive done a jot? You won’t make significant change until people are individually responsible for their unhealthy habits, i.e, paying for their own healthcare and other consequences etc.

David Jarvis 3 November, 2020 10:53 am

Paying for your own healthcare hasn’t helped obesity rates in the good old USofA

Christopher Ho 3 November, 2020 11:08 am

David Jarvis – Well, if you needed further proof that you can’t force change on people… They have to be free to choose a healthy life, and some won’t. In other insurance-based 1st world countries, there are better outcomes.

Jonathan Heatley 3 November, 2020 12:43 pm

how about this for a new way to treat new and obese T2 diabetics–
you put them on canagliflozen or similar to make them pee out sugar and give them depot injections of a incretin mimetic like liraglutide which inhibits hunger and tell them to fast and lose a few stone. This would represent a serious attempt to make them lose weight and put off the evil day when their T2diabetes becomes irreversible.
Resorting immediately to metformin lets them off the hook so drastic weight loss is not essential and as its hard to do most of them fail to lose the weight.