Do people with type 2 diabetes find continuous and intermittent low-energy diets for weight loss and diabetes remission acceptable?

Joanna Brooks, Helen Ruane, Sarah Mcdiarmid, A Vyas, Basil Issa, Michelle Harvie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Manchester Intermittent versus Daily Diet App Study (MIDDAS) tested the feasibility and potential efficacy of two remotely delivered low-energy diet (LED) programmes (800 kcal/day) to support weight loss and remission of type 2 diabetes: continuous [CLED] (8 weeks of daily LED) and intermittent [ILED] (2 days of LED/week for 28 weeks). Understanding participant experiences can help us to understand the acceptability of LED programmes to people with type 2 diabetes, informing future programme development and implementation.

Twenty participants (10 CLED; 10 ILED) took part in interviews conducted at the end of the active weight loss phase (CLED week 12, ILED week 28). Interviews were transcribed and analysed thematically using the template analysis approach, with an a priori focus on acceptability. Four themes are presented: prospective acceptability, intervention coherence and perceived effectiveness, opportunity costs and self-efficacy.

Both remotely supported CLED and ILED interventions appeared acceptable to participants. CLED participants found the rapid initial weight loss phase comparatively easy and highly motivating but expressed more concerns around weight maintenance. ILED participants found the more gradual weight loss initially frustrating but expressed greater confidence in their longer-term adherence. The importance of continued individualised support from healthcare professionals was emphasised, and evidence of weight loss and improvement in other medical markers through monitoring via the mobile phone app was useful.

Different approaches to remotely delivered LEDs appear acceptable; therefore asking patients which approach may be more acceptable to them may be a useful way to offer individualised and tailored support.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics
Early online date27 May 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 May 2024


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