“Ban” on replacement diets could cost lives

The fight against obesity and diabetes could be severely hampered by an effective ban on use of total replacement diets for severe cases, a campaigning MEP warned today.

Julie Girling, Conservative MEP for the South West, spoke out at a high level conference at the European Parliament in Brussels, which she co-chaired.

Consumers and suppliers fear that planned EU legislation on the contents of very low calorie replacement diets could make them uneconomic to produce and market.
Mrs Girling said: “These very low-calorie diets provide a total replacement for people’s nutritional intake – and they work well in helping very obese people lose weight and avoid diabetes.

“But after 30 years of safe use in Europe they could now disappear. That is a grave concern to people who have effectively had their lives and limbs saved by these products.”

The conference heard from patients who benefited from the diets and from expert clinicians, dieticians and industry representatives.

Mrs Girling concluded: “I think the conference has sent out a strong message that this legislation is ill-considered and could have deeply damaging consequences if it is not reconsidered. It is not putting it too strongly to say this will cost lives.”