Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Feature Type 2 Diabetes

Low calorie and low carb diets for weight loss in primary care

BMJ 2018; 360 doi: (Published 13 March 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k1122

Rapid Response:

Re: Low calorie and low carb diets for weight loss in primary care

Many thanks for such an interesting article.

The author mentions that “DiRECT may also show the power for primary care to support lifestyle change in patients. This is a largely untapped area, barely covered in undergraduate or postgraduate medical training, with evidence that up to 80% of GPs are ambivalent about advising on lifestyle change”

I feel that the untapped area has created a vacuum that many non medically trained experts on social media have filled. Although DiRECT may make for compelling evidence - the advice that can be found at the tap or swipe of a screen can be more attractive to the members of the public. Social media is always present in people’s lives and homes. It has a captive audience. Some of the information is helpful and supportive to those aiming to alter their lifestyle. But there is also advice that lacks real credible evidence and is driven by celebrity and cultural fads. A photoshopped non-reality.

I would welcome a move to emphasise nutrition and lifestyle more in undergraduate and postgraduate education. Our advice could hold more sway if we nurtured the development of expertise in this area and kept abreast of developments in research. The patient doctor relationship could be one that is more trusted than the celebrity with a cult following who endorses the latest craze in dieting.

Competing interests: No competing interests

16 March 2018
Dr Sarah Babatunde
ST7 Anaesthesia & Critical Care