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INTRODUCTION: Some clinicians have observed that low-carbohydrate, low-energy diets can improve blood glucose control, with reports of remission from type 2 diabetes in some patients. In clinical trials, support for low-carbohydrate, low-energy diets has been provided by specialist staff and these programmes are unsuitable for widespread deployment in routine primary care. The aim of this trial is to test whether a newly developed behavioural support programme can effectively deliver a low-energy, low-carbohydrate diet in a primary care setting. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This is a feasibility randomised controlled trial (RCT) with embedded qualitative study. Thirty adult patients with type 2 diabetes and body mass index ≥30 kg/m2 in 2-4 general practices will be randomised 2:1 intervention or control and followed up over 12 weeks. The intervention diet comprises 8 weeks of a low-carbohydrate food-based diet providing around 800 kcal/day, followed by 4 weeks of weight maintenance. This programme will be delivered by practice nurses, who will also support patients through goal-setting, motivation and self-monitoring across four appointments, and provide a self-help booklet with recipes, shopping lists and other behavioural support. Primary outcome measures of feasibility will be met if CIs do not cross the following proportions: that 60% of intervention group participants attempt the dietary intervention, healthcare professionals conduct the intervention delivery session with at least 60% of essential elements present and 60% of participants attend the final follow-up session. Secondary outcome measures will assess process and qualitative measures, as well as exploratory outcomes including change in haemoglobin A1c and change in weight. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This study has been granted ethical approval by the National Research Ethics Service, South Central Oxford B Research Ethics Committee (ref: 18/SC/0071). The study results will inform whether to progress to a full-scale RCT to test the efficacy of offering this programme for patients with type 2 diabetes in primary care. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN62452621; Pre-results.

Original publication




Journal article


BMJ Open

Publication Date





obesity, primary care, weight loss