The NHS has announced it will offer thousands of people the chance to try a soup-and-shake diet for free in a bid to tackle obesity and diabetes.
On the face of it, this is good news. It is undoubtedly a positive step that the NHS has decided to look at initiatives in order to address a pressing issue – it is clear that the UK must act to prevent an ever increasing number of obese or type 2 diabetic patients that has now been reported to cost the NHS around 10 billion pounds per annum.
Studies show switching to the low-calorie liquid diet can put diabetes into remission, short-term.
Experts say they want to help people to be as fit as possible, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic.
However, in the long term, is this more of a reactive move than a proactive one?
At healthcare rm, we believe that education is crucial to our health. We encourage people to understand how healthy eating can benefit them and encourage that they make sustainable changes.
This doesn’t always mean drastic lifestyle changes, just some small changes can go a long way.
While liquid diets have been shown to aid weight loss and stabilise blood sugar management, it is unclear whether this will work long term – and it almost certainly won’t be for everyone.
With such restricted diets, it’s likely that once the patients resume their ‘normal’ diet, they are likely to put the weight back on, if they don’t have the correct support and education on how to re introduce solid foods safely.
There are also social factors to consider, If someone is on a liquid diet for months, this can significantly limit socialising, as they are much less likely to go out for dinner with friends or eat with their family and children which is something that is crucial for our mental health.
We think it would be a good idea to educate those with diabetes and obesity on how to eat healthily, how to make healthy choices and get them excited about good, proper food and how to cook it simply and cheaply, rather than turning to quick fixes.