0104 GMT February 20, 2019
Overweight adults will be put on a strict regime limiting them to 800 calories a day in an effort to tackle Britain’s diabetes timebomb, The Telegraph reported.
The measures, under an NHS 10 year plan, will see a doubling in the number of overweight adults enrolled in weightloss programs.
Around 200,000 overweight adults will be enrolled into schemes offering free Fitbits, one to one coaching and advice on healthy eating.
And 5,000 of those with a diagnosis of diabetes will be targeted for a national trial of diets which have been found in smaller studies to reverse the condition in almost half of cases.
Other trials found that quarter of those put on the restrictive regimes lost more than two stone.
Patients will be prescribed fat-free shakes and soups for three months, with a period of follow-up support to maintain weight loss.
The diet means a daily calorie intake of between 810 and 850 calories –far less than the recommended limits of 2,000 calories for women, and 2,500 for men, if they are of healthy weight.
Scientists believe the strict diet is particularly effective at shifting fat surrounding the pancreas, which can cause a drop in production of insulin which results in type diabetes.
Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive, said: "The NHS is now going to be ramping up practical action to support hundreds of thousands people avoid obesity-induced heart attacks, strokes, cancers and type 2 diabetes.
"The NHS long-term plan is going to give people the power and the support to take control of their own lifestyles, so that they can help themselves while also helping the NHS.
"Because what's good for our waistlines is also good for our wallets, given the huge costs to all of us as taxpayers from these largely preventable illnesses.
Elsewhere health experts said that food companies should be forced by law to reformulate their products to make them healthier to fight the growing obesity epidemic.
Public Health England (PHE) has already asked the food industry to cut calories by 20 percent by 2024, but the scheme is voluntary and critics have warned they will simply shrink items.