Develop a behavioural weight loss intervention to achieve diabetes remission
Supervisors: Professor Susan Jebb and Dr Nicola Guess.
Remission from type 2 diabetes for people who are overweight is now regarded as a realistic possibility following intensive weight loss. There are also case reports and observational cohorts describing the use of low carbohydrate diets to achieve remission without explicit weight loss advice, though trial data is lacking. At present there is no standardised low carbohydrate intervention programme and there is interest in whether the high protein component of the diet may contribute to its impact on glycaemic control.
The aim of this DPhil is to explore the mechanism of action through experimental studies, develop a low carbohydrate and/or high protein behavioural intervention that can be delivered in routine general practice and to conduct a feasibility trial to test whether this is suitable for testing in a pragmatic RCT to achieve diabetes remission.
The DPhil will include three principal elements:
(i) Experimental studies to determine the impact of low carbohydrate and/or high protein diets on glycaemic control
(ii) Synthesising the learnings from patients with lived experience of adopting a low carbohydrate and/or high protein diet and combining with behavioural theory to develop an intervention that can be delivered in routine primary care.
(iii) Conducting a preliminary study to test the fidelity of delivery of the intervention and impact on glycaemic control as a measure of early effectiveness of the intervention, with qualitative interviews to assess acceptability to patients and optimise programme delivery.
This mixed-methods project will suit someone with an interest in the dietary management of disease and applied clinical research. It will provide training in study design, experimental medicine, qualitative and quantitative research methods. Candidates should have a background in biomedical sciences with experience of working with patients or members of the public.