Geverifieerd door Massi Fazli

Gecertificeerd Health Communicator & Clinical Dietitian

A record number of people can now be treated for diabetes in Denmark.

A record number of people can now be treated for diabetes in Denmark.

Let's imagine a Denmark where we actively address rising diabetes rates with effective and proven treatments like TDR (Total Diet Replacement). It is crucial that we explore all options to improve diabetes treatment.

In the UK, the NHS has launched a groundbreaking treatment for type 2 diabetes known as the NHS Type 2 Diabetes Path to Remission Program, inspired by the DiRECT study. This program uses a TDR plan with great success!

It's time we take this challenge seriously and act like the UK—because it works! By implementing such effective treatment methods, we can not only improve the health of thousands of Danes but also achieve economic sustainability in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

Over 10,000 more people living with type 2 diabetes and overweight or obesity in the UK will be offered NHS soup and shake diets this year to help them lose weight and significantly improve their health.

Diabetes Treatment in Denmark vs. UK

As a clinical dietitian, I see great potential in improving diabetes treatment in Denmark by learning from the NHS's groundbreaking treatment program in the UK. An analysis of healthcare expenses shows that the NHS in the UK spends around 10 billion pounds annually on diabetes treatment, which accounts for about 10% of their total budget. If the TDR program can reduce these costs, it will free up funds for other important health areas.

In Denmark, the annual cost of diabetes treatment is around 31.8 billion kroner, and projections suggest that the number of people with diabetes will rise to 467,000 by 2030. In late April, the Diabetes Association published new figures highlighting diabetes as an increasing challenge in Denmark. Last year, 25,557 Danes were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes—the highest number ever recorded in a year. Today, at least 360,000 Danes live with diabetes, of which 325,000 have type 2 diabetes, and an additional 100,000 are undiagnosed.

Claus Richter, CEO of the Diabetes Association, points out that the increase is due to an aging population and a lack of focus on diet and exercise. He describes the situation as a "silent health crisis" due to the serious complications diabetes can cause, such as vision loss, cardiovascular problems, kidney disease, and nerve damage. Last year, over 600 diabetes patients had a leg, forefoot, or toe amputated due to nerve disease.

The Impact of NHS's Groundbreaking Treatment Program

The NHS has launched a groundbreaking treatment for type 2 diabetes called the NHS Type 2 Diabetes Path to Remission Program, inspired by the DiRECT study. The NHS is expanding “Soup and Shakes” diets to thousands more patients with type 2 diabetes across the UK.

This program uses a TDR plan, consisting of nutritionally complete meal replacements with low calorie content—typically 800 to 900 calories a day—for 12 weeks. The goal is to support weight loss and improve diabetes control. The program also includes clinical support and guidance from coaches to help participants reintroduce healthy eating and maintain their weight loss.

The program is now available in 42 local health areas across the UK after a significant expansion, giving thousands of patients access to this life-changing treatment. Following a successful pilot in 2020, the program has proven to be a success. Over 20,000 people have already benefited from it, and analyses show that they typically lose 7.2 kg after one month and 13 kg after three months. This weight loss has been shown to significantly improve diabetes control, which can lead to remission of type 2 diabetes in up to half of the participants.

Inspiring Case Study

A patient, James Thompson from Birmingham, participated in the program after experiencing side effects from his diabetes medication. He weighed 177 kg and never thought he could lose weight. After completing the TDR program, James lost 95 kg and achieved remission of his diabetes. His blood sugar levels stabilized, and his quality of life improved significantly. James began to feel more energetic, bought a bike, and started cycling to and from work. He managed to take more steps each day, reaching about 30,000 steps a day. Now, he plans long-distance cycling trips and enjoys an active lifestyle he never thought possible before.

This case study illustrates not only the physical benefits of the program but also the mental and emotional improvements that weight loss and diabetes remission can bring. James' story is an inspiring example of how targeted treatment programs can transform lives and give hope to others in similar situations.

Removing VAT on Diabetes Treatments in Denmark

In addition to the health benefits of full meal replacement, there are also significant economic benefits. Removing VAT on diabetes treatments, such as TDR programs, can have significant health and economic benefits.

This would make the treatment more economically accessible, reduce the need for medical interventions, and improve patients' quality of life.

Benefits of VAT-Free Diabetes Treatment:

  • Increased Accessibility: Lower costs make TDR programs accessible to more people, which can lead to better diabetes management.
  • Health Improvements: Access to effective treatments can reduce complications and improve the quality of life for diabetics.
  • Economic Savings: Less need for expensive medical treatments and hospitalizations can reduce the overall costs to the healthcare system.
  • Societal Benefits: A healthier population can lead to increased productivity and fewer sick days, which is economically beneficial for society.

Although TDR programs have shown positive results, Denmark has yet to fully embrace these opportunities like the UK. Removing VAT on diabetes treatments would send a strong signal that the healthcare system and policymakers take the diabetes epidemic seriously while easing the financial burden for patients and society as a whole.

It is crucial to act now to address the growing diabetes epidemic and its consequences. By supporting and making innovative treatments like TDR more accessible, we can create a healthier and more sustainable future for all.


  1. NHS England » NHS expands ‘soup and shake’ diets to thousands more patients with type 2 diabetes across England
  2. Are you dreaming of a new path to better health and quality of life, e – Nupo
  4. Rekordmange personer fik sidste år konstateret type 2-diabetes - TV 2
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