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A University of Oxford study published in the journal Obesity has revealed that ‘total diet replacement’ programmes (TDRs), combined with one-to-one support, are an effective and cost-efficient way to lose weight long term.

Comparing a nurse-led programme with that of The 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan, this report builds on the initial results of a trial by the University of Oxford, DROPLET1. This study proved that TDRs are a safe and effective way to lose weight. It also showed significant weight loss persisting to at least 12 months.

Led by Dr Seamus Kent, these latest findings estimate that for every 100,000 people referred to the TDR programme, 50 coronary heart disease events, 75 strokes, 900 cases of type 2 diabetes, and 25 cancers could be avoided, over 25 years. As a result, people are expected to live longer and in better health, with lower use and costs of healthcare services.

The UK has an ageing population. Nearly two thirds of adults are overweight or obese. In view of this, it is unsurprising that the NHS recently announced a pilot programme to offer TDRs to around 5,000 people with type 2 diabetes.

With an ever-increasing range of tasty meal options, from soups, shakes and bars to ready meals, The 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan, provides more choice and flexibility than ever. It is a clinically proven programme for successful weight loss and subsequent maintenance. The business has over 5,000 consultants in the UK and Republic of Ireland who are paired with individual dieters to provide 1:1 support and motivation.

Professor Anthony Leeds, Medical Director of Cambridge Weight Plan, said: “The NHS is weighed down by the UK’s ageing and heavier population. We need to lighten the load, not just on those seeking to lose a significant amount of weight, but also in regard to the increased care requirements and financial burden that rests on the NHS.

“Proven to be effective and safe with high compliance and low drop-out rates, weight loss programme that include TDR ought to become a regular component in the tool-box of health care practitioners as well as public health officials.

“Taken with the recently published DROPLET clinical trial results, Dr Seamus Kent’s paper conclusively shows that weight loss with TDR in this setting (a primary care/commercial collaboration) is cost effective, as well as delivering more weight loss and maintenance than a regular dietary programme.”

Professor Susan Jebb, Professor of Diet and Population Health in University of Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences and Chief investigator of the initial DROPLET trial, went on to comment: “Our clinical trial has shown clearly that a programme combining low energy, nutritionally complete products with one-to-one support from trained counsellors helps people to lose weight successfully. This approach would represent good value for money for the NHS as a treatment for obesity as it reduces the chances of people developing diabetes and heart disease in the future.”


The results from DROPLET (Doctor Referral of Overweight People to Low Energy Treatment) run by University of Oxford showed that after 12 months, participants lost an average of 10.7kg (one-and-a-half stone) if they followed the Cambridge Weight Plan (CWP, now The 1:1 Diet) programme. Those following usual care for the same period lost on average 3.1kg (half a stone).

The trial recruited 278 adults with a BMI of more than 30. The trial was run by Professor Susan Jebb, Professor Paul Aveyard and Dr Nerys Astbury at the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences at the University of Oxford.

People who were randomly assigned to the CWP programme were all given weekly one-to-one support, focussing on goal-setting and feedback, problem-solving, encouragement and reassurance, and preparation for weight maintenance, by a CWP Consultant. This support was weekly for the first 12 weeks and then monthly up to 24 weeks.

• For more information and/or to set up interviews, contact The 1:1 Diet PR team on 0113 243 1117 / 020 8741 5900

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