Last night (Wednesday 13 June 2018), the first episode of a two-part documentary, called 'Fast Fix: Diabetes' aired on ITV1. It sees five people with Type 2 diabetes go on an intensive low-calorie diet for eight weeks to see if their condition can be put into remission.
Anna Morris is Assistant Director of Research Strategy and Partnership at Diabetes UK. She said:
“We were not involved in the production of this programme and, while it will no doubt open up an important conversation about how Type 2 diabetes might be treated in the future, its approach isn’t as scientifically rigorous as the DiRECT Study it draws inspiration from.
“We welcome the ongoing spotlight on the effects of low-calorie diets on people with Type 2 diabetes, but long-term, robust evidence is needed to understand how effective this approach could be in practice. The DiRECT study is still underway, working to see if a low calorie diet, alongside support to reintroduce food and maintain weight loss, can put Type 2 diabetes into remission for the long term.
“The initial results of DiRECT have been very exciting and, while we don’t yet have the level of evidence we need to determine if a treatment like this should be made available within the NHS in the future, DiRECT will help us answer these questions.
“Until then, anyone with Type 2 diabetes considering a low calorie diet should speak to their GP first – especially if they’re taking medications like insulin, as it could be dangerous. In the meantime, we recommend maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular physical activity.”