Prevention and reversal of Type 2 diabetes: highlights from a symposium at the 2019 Diabetes UK Annual Professional Conference
Taylor R., Valabhji J., Aveyard P., Paul D.
© 2018 Diabetes UK Aim: This symposium covers the gamut of Type 2 diabetes prevention, reversing established Type 2 diabetes, population-level delivery of weight loss programmes and personal insights into achieving and retaining substantial weight loss. Results: The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme was launched in 2016 and rates of referral and attendance have both exceeded expectations. By March 2018, mean weight loss for completers (those attending more than 60% of sessions) was 3.2 kg reflecting considerable health benefits. Established Type 2 diabetes is now known to be a reversible condition in the early years, and the underlying mechanism is the removal of the excess fat from within liver and pancreas in these susceptible individuals. The Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial has shown that around half of a primary care population of people with Type 2 diabetes of less than 6 years’ duration can be returned to non-diabetic blood glucose control which lasts at least 12 months. This raises the question of population-level intervention to achieve weight loss. The success of some mass weight loss programmes requires to be recognized. Reframing mass provision of weight loss support should be a vital part of our clinical strategy to prevent and treat Type 2 diabetes. However, the current obesogenic environment is a reality in which individuals must live. A personal account of achieving substantial and maintaining substantial weight loss provides an invaluable insight into practical problems encountered. All health professionals dealing with weight control should assimilate and reflect upon this understanding. Conclusions: Effective prevention and long term reversal of Type 2 diabetes is feasible. The impact upon the individual must be considered during delivery of advice and support.