Removal of endorsement – Sugar equivalent infographics

We removed the link to Dr David Unwin’s NICE-endorsed infographic resource from our website in early June 2020. We also removed the shared learning case study on the same topic.

Dr Unwin’s resource is his translation of some of the recommendations in the NICE guideline on the management of type 2 diabetes in adults and is intended to present information in a different way to enable people and healthcare professional discussions about diet. This is the element that supports the recommendations in our  guideline about ‘providing dietary advice that is easy to use and understand, and that facilitates conversations on these issues with health professionals’.

The resource produced by Dr Unwin translates the glycaemic index value of common foods and presents their glycaemic load value in terms of equivalent teaspoons of sugar.

The process we use to determine whether to endorse a resource such as Dr Unwin’s is described in detail in NICE’s process manual for the endorsement of guidance and quality standard support resources. It checks whether a resource supports the implementation of our recommendations, which are developed from the identification and discussion of the evidence base.

Having reviewed the process we followed for Dr Unwin’s resource, it is clear that our decision to endorse the resource was an error because we failed to take into account the conclusion others could make that the resource implies support for a low carbohydrate diet. This conclusion is of particular concern to NICE, because our diabetes guideline clearly recommends that people should follow a healthy balanced diet that contains, but is not limited to, eating low glycaemic index sources of carbohydrates. We have therefore taken the decision to revoke our endorsement of Dr Unwin’s resource and have removed the link to it from NICE’s website.

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