Medicine Doctor with hightech computer screen viewing patient data

Published on July 12th, 2014 | by Margaret Pardoe


NICE Advice for Obesity and Diabetes


“You are what you eat”

Anthelme Brillat-Savarin


According to NICE (National Institute of Health and Care Excellence) 25% of adults are now obese in the UK.

And obesity costs the NHS (National Health Service) £5.1 billion annually.

Added to that, 42% of men and 32% of women are considered to be overweight.

Paradoxically, as the weight loss industry increases, the success rates of people losing weight appear to be decreasing, and both obesity and Type 2 diabetes are being described as epidemics!

Those figures are going to be higher in the US, and so although our NICE guidelines don’t affect you directly, it’s still worth reading on…..

At the moment, weight loss surgery, aka bariatric surgery, is used as a last resort to treat people who are dangerously obese and is only available on the NHS to treat people with potentially life-threatening obesity when other treatments have failed.

Currently that’s about 8000 annually, having either a Gastric Band, where a band is used to reduce stomach size so you feel full with less food. Or Gastric Bypass, where the digestive system is re-routed past most of the stomach so less food is digested.

But we don’t just have an obesity epidemic, we also have an epidemic of Type 2 diabetes – which is closely linked to lifestyle and obesity! And around 10% of the NHS budget is spent on diabetes

The inability to control blood sugar levels can result in blindness, amputations and nerve damage. And it is on these complications that the majority of the budget is spent. So an expansion of weight loss surgery in England is being proposed to tackle this epidemic of type 2 diabetes.

New draft guidelines from NICE aim to reduce serious complications as the disease progresses, which is what is actually causing the spiraling costs. And there is now substantial evidence indicating that a gastric bypass improves symptoms in around 60% of patients.

This new guidance from NICE is that people who have been diagnosed in the past decade and have a BMI over 35 should be assessed for surgery.

Guidelines also suggest that doctors should consider individuals with a BMI of 30 or more on a case-by-case basis.

Diabetes UK says around 460,000 people will meet the criteria for automatic assessment, increasing to 850,000 when those with a BMI of 30 are added. NICE believes the numbers may be much higher.

However, Prof Mark Baker, who drafted the guidelines, states that “The first line of attack will be diet and exercise and we would expect clinicians to consider the risks and benefits of surgery for patients.” He also went on to say that there were people who would not be operated on because of age. When interviewed on “Today”, he said that evidence showed  “relatively early bariatric surgery in the course of [overweight people’s] disease can make their diabetes much easier to manage, and in a proportion of cases actually reverse the diagnosis”.

In the UK, the surgery costs between £3,000 and £15,000 and there are worries that the NHS will not be able to afford this sudden rise in cases eligible for treatment, even if there are savings in the long term.

Is surgery the best option for weight loss? What do you think?

And what’s your BMI? Check it out at

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About the Author

Margaret Pardoe

first trained and practiced as a State Registered Nurse and State Certified Midwife in the UK, and thereafter, as a Master Herbalist, Registered Iridologist and Accredited Journey Therapist. More recently she trained as a Neuro Linguistic Programming Practitioner with co-founder and creator of NLP, Richard Bandler. She has a lifetime of experience in both allopathic and alternative medicine and in mind/body healing techniques.

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