As he explained, the study did not address the following:
- Long term sustainability and if people are able to maintain the weight loss achieved over a long term.
- Will people develop micronutrient deficiencies with such diets? There are suggestions from some studies.
- How can people combine exercise together with such an initiative?
- Cost-effectiveness to the health system – of course this would depend on longer term benefits
- Importantly, almost all the studies are of a one or two year duration. The three year follow up of DiRECT are eagerly awaited to provide insight into medium term benefits.
As well as resulting in remission for some people, there appear to be additional benefits to taking part in a weight management programme overall, according to Diabetes UK.
“These include a reported better quality of life, improved blood glucose levels and a reduced need for diabetes medications,” explains the health body.
To encourage weight loss and lower blood sugar levels, the NHS says to aim for 2.5 hours of activity a week.