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After completing my training, I’m now officially a Public Health Collaboration ambassador. This is an exciting honour and a great opportunity to help a great group of people make a difference to public health… although I know the work won’t provide an easy ride. 

The Public Health Collaboration (PHC) is a charity dedicated to improving public health through diet (its hashtag is #RealFoodRocks). It is tackling the root cause of the UK’s health problems by working to improve the UK’s healthy eating and weight loss guidelines. It also works with GPs, diabetes nurses and other healthcare practitioners to offer more choice to type 2 diabetes sufferers in their treatment, highlighting the NHS-approved availability of a low-carb approach to put diabetes into remission. 

The PHC works closely with diabetes organisation www.diabetes.co.uk to introduce healthcare practitioners to a dietary approach to type 2 diabetes treatment and to provide support with this new protocol. For years, type 2 diabetes has been considered a progressive, irreversible ie terminal condition. But in recent years, thousands have used a low carb/’real food’ approach in combination with other lifestyle changes to put their diabetes into remission or even reverse it completely. Diabetes.co.uk has developed a 10-week low carb eating programme for patients which is approved by the NHS for GPs to prescribe.   It has also received CE Mark approval. At £30 this represents good value compared to the £300 – £375 the NHS currently spends per person on diabetes treatments (and that does not include spend on complications of diabetes which take up around 80% of the total annual diabetes costs of £14bn – 16bn). But this approach is new to the NHS and it will take time for health care providers to be confident to try something different. Recognising this, diabetes.co.uk developed a 30-minute learning module for GPs and other healthcare practitioners which has been approved by the Royal College of GPs.

More alternatives to drug therapy… and more hope
Another dietary lifestyle approach to type 2 diabetes reversal includes the very low calorie diet featured on recent BBC and ITV programmes, based on the DiRECT study. Therefore, alternatives to drug therapy exist for patients, once healthcare practitioners are aware of this. Patients value being given a choice in treatment protocol and, importantly, being given hope that their condition can be either better managed or reversed. 

Type 2 diabetes affects around 6% of the UK population but takes 10% of the NHS budget. With a third of the UK population estimated to have prediabetes, it is obvious that our struggling NHS could not cope if people’s prediabetes progressed to full diabetes. And the issues that lead to prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, also predispose people to other conditions such as obesity, cardio vascular issues, fatty liver disease, kidney problems and some cancers. Increasing evidence suggests that our carbohydrate-heavy diet, particularly in terms of sugars and starchy carbs such as flour, rice, pasta and starchy bread, is a major contributor to the obesity and diabetes crisis which is why the PHC is working to revise lthe UK dietary guidelines.

Exciting times ahead!