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NHS obesity and type 2 diabetes programme helping patients lose over 8 pounds

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In the battle against obesity and type 2 diabetes, more than a third of the referrals for NHS’s weight management programme were for people of colour

Part of a raft of National Health Services (NHS) measures which aim to support people to prevent or reduce incidence of type 2 diabetes and obesity, the NHS Digital Weight Management Programme has emerged as a beacon of success in the battle against obesity, with a recent study showcasing its effectiveness in aiding weight loss among participants.

According to research published in The Obesity Journal, the programme has garnered significant traction, with over 63,000 individuals referred in its inaugural year.

Encouragingly, half of those referred opted to enroll in the service, highlighting its appeal and accessibility.

Among the 14,000 participants who completed the 12-week programme between April 2021 and March 2022, a notable average weight loss of 3.9kg (equivalent to 8.59lbs) was achieved.

Even among those who did not complete the programme, an average weight loss of 2.2kg (approximately 4.85lbs) was observed.

One of the programme’s standout features is its inclusivity, with more than a third of referrals coming from Black, Asian, and minority ethnic backgrounds. This underscores its effectiveness in addressing health disparities and supporting individuals from diverse communities.

Notably, the programme targets individuals with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, with lowered thresholds for those from minority ethnic backgrounds.

Moreover, it provides tailored interventions based on individual risk levels, offering varying degrees of support ranging from digital content to personalised coaching sessions.

Dr. Clare Hambling, NHS National Clinical Director for Diabetes and Obesity, hailed the programme’s achievements, emphasising its role in leveraging existing weight management services with convenient digital access.

“While this study looked at the initial 64,000 patients referred in the programme’s first year, we have now seen more than 358,000 referrals by GPs and it’s very encouraging to see so many people benefit from the NHS Digital Weight Management Programme”.

Public Health Minister Andrea Leadsom echoed Dr. Hambling’s sentiments, highlighting the programme’s pivotal role in addressing the pressing issue of obesity and its associated health risks.

“We know that two thirds of adults are overweight or living with obesity, so I am delighted to see how effective the NHS Digital Weight Management Programme is in helping people living with obesity to lose weight and improve their health.”

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