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NHS Low Calorie Diet programme

man smiling at camera
Find out about a new NHS programme to help support people with diabetes.

Diabetes is estimated to cost the NHS £10 billion a year, while almost one in 20 prescriptions written by GPs is for diabetes treatment. Launched in Autumn 2020 the NHS is delivering a new programme which provides a low-calorie diet treatment for people who are overweight and living with Type 2 diabetes. Greater Manchester is one of 10 pilot sites in England with free places available for hundreds of residents.

The programme is based on two large studies which showed that, as a result of going on a specially designed programme, people living with Type 2 diabetes who were overweight could improve their diabetes control, reduce diabetes-related medication and, in some cases, put their Type 2 diabetes into remission (no longer have diabetes).

What is it?

  • A unique one-year programme combining specialist nutrition, psychology, and physical activity
  • Supports rapid weight loss and long-term behaviour change
  • Support throughout from your Health & Wellbeing diabetes practitioner via regular contact, with online learning and supporting resources
  • Supported by GPs, practice nurses, diabetes practitioners, dietitians, clinical psychologists, and exercise specialists 

How does it work? 

Initial 12 weeks of low-calorie diet (shakes and soups) followed by reintroducing food, focusing on movement, and maintaining a new healthy eating lifestyle. 

Who is the programme for?

People aged 18 -65 years who are overweight and diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in the last 6 years. Individuals must also meet other eligibility criteria to be referred to the service to ensure the programme is right for them. 

Results so far 

We are seeing some amazing results so far including an average weight loss of 14.3kg (over 2 stone) at the end of the first 12 weeks of low-calorie diet, and an average 7.3mmol/mol HbA1c reduction.

Want to know more?

We are running patient information sessions via Microsoft Teams to provide you with an overview on what you can expect from the programme. Each session will last approximately 30-45 minutes and will give you all the information you need to know.
Contact for further information

The Greater Manchester pilot is managed by the Diabetes Team at the Strategic Clinical Network. If you are a healthcare professional and would like to offer this programme to your patients or would like more information then please email the team at

image showing a case study of a man with diabetes - text is incompatible with screen reader

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