The NHS should give more overweight people gastric bypass surgery if they want it, campaigners say.
Research has shown the operations – which close off part of the stomach to reduce how much people eat – can reverse type 2 diabetes in three quarters of patients.
The call goes against experts’ past advice that NHS money would be better spent on trying to prevent obesity in the first place.
But the appeal of the procedure, believed to cost around £10,000 a time, could be broad – a quarter of British adults are obese and have diabetes.
The study, by scientists at Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark, looked at 1,111 type 2 diabetics who had a gastric bypass between 2006 and 2015.
They compared them to 1,074 patients who did not have the surgery, which is only offered to people who are morbidly obese.
Some 73 per cent of the surgery patients were free of diabetes – they had normal blood sugar and didn’t need medicine – for at least five years after their procedure.
‘The lack of bariatric surgery services in the UK means very few people can actually access this treatment and have the opportunity to put their type 2 diabetes into remission,’ Dr Emily Burns, from Diabetes UK, told The Times.