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NICE: Commissioning weight loss programmes


29 May 2014

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Guidelines for commissioning effective weight loss programmes have been released by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). 
The guidance examines how weight management programmes focus on diet, activity and behaviour change can help overweight or obese people to lose weight and keep it off. 
The new guidance recommends that commissioners of lifestyle weight management services should commission or recommend lifestyle weight management programmes that:

Guidelines for commissioning effective weight loss programmes have been released by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). 
The guidance examines how weight management programmes focus on diet, activity and behaviour change can help overweight or obese people to lose weight and keep it off. 
The new guidance recommends that commissioners of lifestyle weight management services should commission or recommend lifestyle weight management programmes that:
 – Address dietary intake, physical activity levels and behaviour change.
 – Are developed by a multidisciplinary team. This includes input from a registered dietitian, registered practitioner psychologist and a qualified physical activity instructor.
 – Ensure staff are trained to deliver them and they receive regular professional development sessions. 
 – Focus on life-long lifestyle change and the prevention of future weight gain. 
 – Last at least three months, and that sessions are offered at least weekly or fortnightly and include a ‘weigh-in’ at each session.
 – Discuss sources of on-going support once the programme has ended.
 – Discuss strategies to overcome any difficulties in maintaining new behaviours.
Professor Mike Kelly, director of the Centre for Public Health at NICE, said: “Lifestyle programmes are one part of the solution. An environment that makes it easier for people to be active and eat well is also crucial, as are services for people with other issues that affect their health and wellbeing(2). The guidance isn’t about quick fixes. There is no ‘magic bullet’. It is about ensuring effective services are there to support people in the long term.”
Obesity increases the risk of serious conditions including diabetes and heart disease. And even a weight loss of 3% kept off for live can improve or prevent health problems, NICE has said. 
The guidance is available to view on the NICE website

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