The UK's National Health Service (NHS) will now provide a diet-based program to people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes for the past 6 years. They hope this will help put their diabetes into remission. This decision follows the DiRECT trial's 5-year outcomes, which looked at the effects of a 12-week low-calorie formula diet combined with counseling on diabetes remission.
The press release about the trial's results sounded impressive, with quotes from the lead author, Dr. Roy Taylor, and someone still in remission. However, it was found that by year 5, only 8% of the people who participated in the trial achieved diabetes remission, which amounts to just 12 individuals.
It's important to question whether this small number can be considered significant progress. Additionally, the press release implies that the DiRECT trial was the first to demonstrate that dietary interventions in primary care can lead to type 2 diabetes remission, but the Look AHEAD trial in 2016 had already shown similar results. It's crucial to be cautious of exaggerated claims about dietary interventions and recognize that weight loss is influenced by various factors beyond our direct control.
In conclusion, while supporting interprofessional dietary support for patients with chronic diseases is important, it's crucial to avoid hyperbolic statements and unrealistic expectations about the effectiveness of dietary interventions. Weight management involves many complex factors, and sustainable lifestyle changes can be challenging for most people. Promoting unrealistic ideas about weight loss can be misleading and harmful.
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