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Oxfordshire GP honoured for weight loss study

Oxfordshire GP honoured for weight loss study

An Oxfordshire GP has been honoured for a study into helping people with type 2 diabetes change their diet to lose weight. 

Wantage’s Dr Elizabeth Morris (pictured right) was recognised for leading the study, in which practice nurses helped patients reduce carbohydrates in their diets by cutting out sugar and starchy foods such as pasta and rice.  

High levels of body fat can put pressure on the pancreas, which produces insulin, reducing the production of the hormone and stops tissues in the body from responding to it normally.

This can lead to type 2 diabetes, where the body does not produce enough insulin, causing high blood sugar levels. 

Research has shown that weight loss programmes can be used to treat type 2 diabetes and the DIAMOND study is looking at whether practice nurses can be trained to deliver these. 

Practice nurses explained how weight loss could help patients, gave them meal plans and followed up with them over 12 weeks, to check their progress.

It is hoped that the data from this study can be used to run a larger trial into the impact of a community weight loss programme on health in patients with type 2 diabetes in the long-term. 

Dr Morris, of the Church Street Practice, won the First5 award - which recognises GPs in their first five years in the role - at the Royal College of General Practitioners’ (RCGP) Clinical Research Awards in Liverpool on Wednesday 23 October. 

She said: “Losing weight is important for people with type 2 diabetes who are also overweight as it can help to improve blood glucose levels, which in turn reduces the risk of long-term complications like heart disease and kidney damage.

“In the UK the average diet gets almost half its energy from carbohydrates, so low-carbohydrate diets can be a good way to start reducing calorie intake and losing weight.

“Practice nurses worked with patients on the trial to set their own goals to work towards, for example, losing a certain amount of weight, as research shows that this helps people to stay focused and on track with their diet.

“This award really reflects the commitment of the whole multidisciplinary team behind the project, and the enthusiasm and hard work of all the GPs, nurses and patients who took part in the study, for which I’m very grateful.”