Welcome to The European Very Low Calorie Diet Industry Group

The European Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD) Industry Group is the European trade body for manufacturers and distributors of VLCD products which provide weight loss programmes for the very overweight and obese. Members of the Group currently operate predominantly in the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Greece and Poland.

What are VLCDs?

VLCDs are formula food diet programmes containing between 400-800 kcals per day, that are nutritionally balanced with key vitamins, minerals and other necessary nutrients, and are designed to replace more traditional meals to facilitate maximum weight loss. Usually in the form of powders to make into shakes or soups, rehydrated meals or as bars, mueslis, or desserts, they contain carefully formulated amounts of energy, protein, carbohydrate, fat,  fibre and essential micro-nutrients.

VLCDs produced by our members comply with all appropriate legislative criteria and are acknowledged as an option for weight management in the UK's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidance on the prevention, identification, assessment and management of overweight and obesity in adults and children .

Many consumers find VLCDs an effective way to achieve and maintain weight loss because unlike many other diets, VLCDs facilitate ketosis, which may lead to a reduced sense of hunger. One of the other strengths of the programmes which accompany the products sold by our members is that individuals are also advised on strategies to achieve a long term healthy weight and lifestyle.

Current legislative framework: Foods for Particular Nutritional Uses (PARNUTS):

VLCDs fall within the scope of Article 11 of Directive 2009/39/EC (previously known as Article 9 of Directive 89/398/EEC on foods intended for particular nutritional uses "PARNUTS"), since they are specialist products designed for a targeted group of consumers with particular nutritional needs and they are not ordinary foods designed for the general population.

The above means that the products have to be notified to the Competent Authority of the Member State where the product is to be placed onto the market.

"Helping the Consumer Help Themselves: Safely Tackling Obesity and Diabetes Today and Tomorrow”

The European Very Low Calorie Diet Industry Group (VLCD Industry Group), in association with Specialised Nutrition Europe, hosted an event at the European Parliament in Brussels on 3rd May 2017 to discuss the most effective ways to tackle obesity across the EU.

The event was co-chaired by Annie Schreijer-Pierik MEP and Julie Girling MEP, and is being supported by The Whitehouse Consultancy. For the full programme, please click here.

The Key presentations are now available:

For more information, please contact Viviana Spaghetti.


The European Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD) Industry Group
305 The Metal Box Factory, 30 Great Guildford Street, London. SE1 0HS. t: +44 (0)20 7463 0690