Researchers and medics at the University of Oxford think that GPs and the NHS needs to rework the approach taken to dealing with the country's obesity epidemic, and should put those who really need to shed the stones on hardcore low-cal soup and shake diets.
As soon as possible too, as it's within the first 12 weeks of any diet plan when motivation is highest, the GPs warnings are still ringing in the ears, and the most weight is therefore shed. Three times as much weight is lost, in fact, when obese patients are ordered to go on the meal replacement diets instead of being told to merely follow the old fashioned eat-a-bit-less plan, hence, along with counselling, it might be something more GPs should think about putting forward as an option.
Oxford professor Paul Aveyard is leading the study, and said: "It's boring being on a normal diet and people struggle to stick to it for a year. But these programmes get you when your mental strength is at its highest. You have to concentrate effort into 12 weeks and because they eat so little, they lose a lot of weight quickly."
His study's group of 278 people saw those on meal replacements lose an average of 10.7kg over a year, compared with just a 3.1kg loss for those on the standard, limited calorie, chips-are-bad, hold-the-ketchup, good old British diet.