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A NewDAWN for type 2 diabetes remission services

Project summary

Weight loss can lead to remission of type 2 diabetes but losing weight can be difficult. Professor Jebb aims to create a new NHS support service for people newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and living with overweight or obesity, so they can try out different weight loss programmes and find the one that’s right for them. This could make all the difference in giving more people the chance to go into remission.

Background to research

The results from our DiRECT trial showed that it’s possible for some people living with type 2 diabetes and overweight or obesity to put their type 2 into remission by losing weight through a low-calorie diet programme. These game-changing results inspired NHS England’s low-calorie diet programme, which is now being offered in 21 areas across the UK. 

Like the DiRECT trial, NHS England’s programme uses special “soups and shakes” products to replace meals. Although this programme is helping lots of people with type 2 across the UK, we know losing weight can be easier said than done, and this type of diet is not everyone’s ‘cup of tea’.

We need to find a way to help people with type 2 diabetes find a diet that works best for them and is suited to their lifestyle.

Research aims

Professor Susan Jebb is aiming to create a new NHS support service to help more people newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and living with overweight or obesity to lose weight and have a chance at remission.  

Professor Jebb’s team will develop a system that supports people to try out different weight loss programmes to find the one that suits them best.

First of all, Professor Jebb will work with people with type 2 to identify up to four effective weight loss programmes. They will then train healthcare professionals to support people newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes who are also living with obesity to find the programme that’s right for them, which may involve trying more than one approach. And to then support them on their weight loss journey.

The researchers will evaluate how well this new support service works and its costs.

Potential benefit to people with diabetes

In the UK, the number of people living with type 2 diabetes has doubled in the last 15 years to about four million people. And yet another 13 million people are at increased risk. So services that will help more people go into remission and live free of type 2 diabetes are urgently needed. 

If this new support service is shown to help more people go into remission and the cost to the NHS is justified, it will be rolled out across the UK. In the future, it’s hoped this will mean more people get the support they need to go into remission leading to better and longer lives, at the same time as saving costs to the NHS.

Funded in partnership with the NIHR. Diabetes UK has contributed £200,000.
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