A new documentary called The Big Fat Fix that recommends prescribing ‘lifestyle medicine’ instead of medications to combat type 2 diabetes has received backing from experts.
The Big Fat Fix, made by leading cardiologist Dr Assem Malhotra and filmmaker Donal O’Neill, urges GPs to recommend dietary changes, exercise and stress management to tackle type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Malhotra and O’Neill point out that making these lifestyle changes can reduce the need for medication, help patients lose weight and even reverse type 2 diabetes.
They advocate the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, which involves eating lots of vegetables as well as more nuts and olive oil. The diet also involves eliminating sugar and getting regular exercise.
The recommended Mediterranean diet is low-carb, and while the UK’s official health policy for the last four decades has been to advise high-carb consumption for people with diabetes, the evidence is continually proving this decision to be erroneous.
Earlier this year, Dr David Unwin became the first GP to be awarded the NHS Innovator of the Year award for his research into the low-carb diet, which resulted in his practice spending around £45,000 less than average on medication for patients with type 2 diabetes.
The documentary has been backed by leading health academics and the British Medical Associatio, and the filmmakers’ aim is that it will lead to real solutions in tackling the diabetes and obesity crises in the UK.
Professor Sir Muir Gray, University of Oxford, said: “The documentary emphasises the benefits of exercise not just for weight control but to prevent inflammation which is caused by stress and inactivity and the programme explores the contribution of stress, for so long ignored because of the difficulty in measuring stress.”
Sir Muir added that a major strength of the programme is that it addresses all the factors that combine to increase the risk of diabetes complications – such as stroke and heart disease – rather than one single risk factor.

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