Thanks to the NHS Low Calorie Diet programme, over 100 Gloucestershire people with Type 2 diabetes are taking steps to reduce their medications, lose weight, improve their health and potentially put their diabetes into remission.

One hundred and eleven individuals are now following the year-long plan which involves using total diet replacement products such as shakes and soups for three months, whilst also increasing their exercise levels.

The diet and lifestyle plans have been shown to put Type 2 diabetes into remission for people recently diagnosed with the condition. The programme is delivered digitally with all appointments happening over phone or video calls, or via secure app messaging.

Eligible participants are offered low calorie, total diet replacement products which add up to around 900 calories per day for up to 12 weeks, replacing all normal meals with these products during this time.

After the initial 12-week period, they receive help and advice to re-introduce ordinary, nutritious food, with support and expert one-to-one healthcare from their own Diabetes Specialist Dietitian.

Sarah Hughes, Specialist Diabetes Dietitian at Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust and Clinical Lead for the Low Calorie Diet Programme in Gloucestershire, said:

“With evidence that people with Type 2 diabetes have twice the risk of serious complications from coronavirus, there has never been a more important time for people with this condition to lose weight and put their diabetes into remission.

The programme is challenging, but with safe and practical support from diabetes specialist dietitians, participants can lose weight effectively and kick start long lasting healthy diet and exercise habits.”

Alistair, who has been following the programme for four months, said:

“My life before starting the programme was limited in what I could do – my bike couldn’t handle the weight and I was definitely more sedentary. I’ve been trying to diet for years, but have always been an all or nothing kind of person.

When I started with the Oviva programme I found it easy to fit in with my lifestyle, as you didn’t need to think about food – it was straightforward and easy to make!

I’ve now lost over 24kg. My blood pressure has lowered and I’m no longer on medication, plus my eyesight has got a lot better. I’m hopeful my diabetes goes into remission soon!”

The programme is provided by Oviva, which works with the NHS to deliver healthcare services across the UK.

Dr Ella Burgin, Senior Service Manager at Oviva, said:

“Oviva is proud to be supporting this NHS initiative, helping people to make sustainable changes to their health and lifestyle through one-to-one personalised coaching and our unique digital tools.”

Gloucestershire is one of ten areas in England to run the programme as part of an NHS drive to help people avoid health complications linked to obesity and maintain a healthy lifestyle.


Notes to Editors:

The NHS Low Calorie Diet Programme isn’t suitable for everyone.

Individuals must meet the following eligibility criteria to be referred to the service to ensure the programme is right for them:

  • aged 18 – 65 years
  • diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes within the last six years
  • BMI over 27 kg/m2 (or over 25 kg/m2 in people of Black, Asian or minority ethnic origin)
  • HbA1c eligibility, most recent value, which must be within 12 months:
  • if on diabetes medication, HbA1c 43 – 87 mmol/mol
  • if not on diabetes medications, HbA1c 48 – 87 mmol/mol
  • in all cases, HbA1c must be 87 mmol/mol or lower
  • have attended for monitoring and diabetes review when this was last offered, including retinal screening, and commit to continue attending reviews, even if remission is achieved

Individuals should discuss their individual circumstances with their GP or diabetes team to find out whether the programme is suitable for them.

Further information, including patient videos, is available on the CCG website: