GOVERNMENT plans to put shakes and soups on prescription to tackle rising levels of obesity has been welcomed by Ludlow MP and diabetes campaigner Philip Dunne.

The former Health Minister has welcomed introduction of diet and lifestyle plans from the NHS to reduce Type 2 diabetes for thousands of people.

Year long plans, which will see those who could benefit provided with ‘total diet replacement products,’ such as shakes and soups, for three months, alongside support to increase their exercise levels, will now be provided to 5,000 more patients in 10 areas as the first stage in an NHS drive to increase access to the life-changing programme.

Diabetes is estimated to cost the NHS £10 billion a year, while almost one in 20 prescriptions written by GPs is for diabetes treatment. NHS research earlier this year revealed people with Type 2 diabetes are two times more at risk of dying from coronavirus.

The diet and lifestyle plans have been shown to put Type 2 diabetes into remission for people recently diagnosed with the condition.

Results from one trial showed almost half of those who went on the diet achieved remission of their Type 2 diabetes after one year.

“This is really welcome news in the fight against obesity and Type 2 diabetes, which we know includes many other related health risks, including from COVID19,” said Mr Dunne.

“Tackling obesity will help free up more resources in the NHS, and ultimately help people live healthier lives.

“I hope these pilots will prove successful, and we will see further rollout to patients in Shropshire in the near future.”