Well done England – but what about the rest of Europe?

Posted On: 17th December 2018

NHS England’s recent news that total diet replacements will now be available via an NHS trial to thousands of people with type 2 diabetes was a very welcome announcement for our industry. It’s a testament to how effective our members’ products are and validates the very real impact these could have on the nation’s growing obesity epidemic and its associated diseases. They have proven immensely successful over the years, and with good reason. They provide a safe and effective way to lose weight; they come with support (both one to one and in groups), behavioural therapy and education, and they have been carefully designed to ensure they consist of compositionally sound food products that provide 100% of recommended dietary allowances. NHS England’s news is, we hope, the first step toward making these effective products much more widely available to people across the country who need and can benefit from them.

But what about the rest of the region?

Based on the latest estimates from the EU Commission, over 50% of the entire European population is overweight. The costs to health services of treating the resultant ill health are estimated to be in the region of 7% of total health care expenditure in Europe, with the indirect costs due to loss of productivity, adding as much again. Overall, obesity costs the EU Member States around €59 billion a year from indirect health care costs alone. However, the broader economic impact could be as high as €118 to €236 billion, with rising childhood obesity auguring badly for the future.

We hope that NHS England sets an example that will be replicated across Europe. We believe total diet replacements and meal replacement products can play a significant role in helping address the public health problem of obesity related conditions and it’s what TDMR Europe is constantly working towards: increased awareness of our products and a favourable regulatory and policy environment for the industry, by promoting TDRs and MRPs and establishing them as a safe evidence-based option to tackle the obesity crisis. We focus on an improved understanding of the products, their use and impact on obesity, overweight and diabetes, and we educate policy makers on the importance of investing sufficient resources into helping treat the two thirds of the population who are already obese or overweight, rather than directing all actions and available funding towards prevention.

If you’d like to be part of the conversation, please get in touch with us via secretariat@tdmr-europe.com.