Diabetes Costs the NHS Over £1 Billion a Year in Prescriptions - BANT responds

Posted On: 
9th November 2018

BANT and its over 2,500 members, calls for a complete review of current public policy guidelines that are so clearly failing both diabetics and those at risk of diabetes.

With one in 20 prescriptions now related to diabetes treatment according to Diabetes UK and the annual cost in prescriptions reaching over £1 billion, the British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT) and its over 2,500 members, calls for a complete review of current public policy guidelines that are so clearly failing both diabetics and those at risk of diabetes.

Numerous studies have now established that Type 2 Diabetes is, in the main, a lifestyle condition and that it may not only be prevented with simple nutrition and lifestyle recommendations, but can, in many cases, be reversed with the same. A growing number of medical and health practitioners, including BANT members, are highlighting the growing body of recent scientific evidence that throws doubt on Public Health England’s (PHE) Eatwell Guide. The Eatwell Guide encourages starchy carbohydrates for sufferers of Type 2 Diabetes, despite the rise in blood sugars this causes, and this blood sugar rise then leads to the need for prescription medication (insulin) to lower the blood sugar. Surely it would be more healthful for the patient and more cost effective for the NHS to simply recommend the avoidance of the food that raises the blood sugar in the first instance?  

BANT would like to caution, however, that obesity and diabetes are complex conditions and changes need to be established to engender a long-term cultural shift which allows healthy behaviour adaptations to an environment which offers so many opportunities for unhealthy indulgence either knowingly or in ignorance.  BANT practitioners do not suggest ‘one-size-fits-all’ advice following the health trend of the moment or outdated population-based recommendations but consider individuality that enables personalisation of dietary advice based on the most up-to-date research available.