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New guidance on weight loss surgery for people with Type 2 diabetes

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The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has today published new guidance on weight loss surgery for people with Type 2 diabetes.The new guidance states that obese people with recently diagnosed Type 2 diabetes should be assessed for weight loss surgery.The guideline also considers more information on the effectiveness and safety of very-low-calorie diets in helping people lose weight.Barbara Young, Diabetes UK Chief Executive, said: “There is good evidence that weight loss surgery can benefit both people who have Type 2 diabetes and those who are at high risk of developing it. It should be considered as one route for people recently diagnosed with Type 2 who are obese. But it is important to stress that all surgery carries risks and so, as the NICE guidance makes clear, people should only be offered surgery if attempts to lose weight through healthy eating and physical activity have already been tried and not worked.“We also need to remember that while weight loss surgery for Type 2 diabetes is an important treatment option, it should not be seen as the definitive remedy that can fix the Type 2 epidemic on its own. In particular, it makes no sense that the NHS is currently spending more on bariatric surgery than it is on preventative measures to stop people from getting Type 2 diabetes in the first place.“We welcome the commitment of NHS England to implement a national evidence-based Type 2 diabetes prevention programme that includes intensive lifestyle interventions. This type of comprehensive support for weight loss without surgery also needs to be available for everyone who already has Type 2. As well as this, in view of the epidemic growth of Type 2 diabetes, the Government also needs to urgently consider legislation to introduce marketing restrictions on unhealthy foods and more robust regulation of the food and drinks industry. We need to make it as easy as possible for people to lead fit, healthy and active lives and, if necessary, encouraging healthy lifestyles through taxation should also be considered.”

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