Obesity: Guidance on the prevention of overweight and obesity in adults and children

NICE guidelines [CG43] Published date:

Review decision date: December 2011

Review decision: 

The Centre for Public Health is updating some elements of the public health recommendations in CG43 Obesity.


This guidance has been partially updated by CG189 Obesity (update)

Section 1.2 of this guideline has been replaced by CG189 Obesity: identification, assessment and management of overweight and obesity in children, young people and adults.

Section 1.1.7 of this guideline has been replaced by PH53 Overweight and obese adults - lifestyle weight management

The NICE clinical guideline on the prevention, identification, assessment and management of overweight and obesity in adults and children covers:

  • how staff in GP surgeries and hospitals should assess whether people are overweight or obese
  • what staff in GP surgeries and hospitals should do to help people lose weight
  • care for people whose weight puts their health at risk.
  • how people can make sure they and their children stay at a healthy weight
  • how health professionals, local authorities and communities, childcare providers, schools and employers should make it easier for people to improve their diet and become more active.

This guidance updates and replaces NICE technology appraisal 22 (published in March 2001), NICE technology appraisal 31 (published in October 2001) and NICE technology appraisal 46 (published in July 2002).

Responsibility for undertaking a review of this guidance at the designated review date has passed to the National Clinical Guidelines Centre for Acute and Chronic Conditions (NCGCACC). The National Collaborating Centre for Primary Care is no longer active.

Amendment to Understanding NICE Guidance documents

The Information for the public versions 'Preventing obesity and staying a healthy weight' and 'Treatment for people who are overweight or obese' previously referred to The Obesity Awareness and Solutions Trust (TOAST) as a source of additional information and support for people wanting to stay a healthy weight or to lose weight. Please note that this organisation closed in December 2007 and is no longer able to provide such information and support, and so reference to the organisation has been removed. The remaining organisations listed in the UNG documents are still able to offer information about preventing or treating obesity.


  • Sibutramine (Reductil): marketing authorisation suspended

    On 21 January 2010, the MHRA announced the suspension of the marketing authorisation for the obesity drug sibutramine (Reductil). This follows a review by the European Medicines Agency which found that the cardiovascular risks of sibutramine outweigh its benefits. Emerging evidence suggests that there is an increased risk of non-fatal heart attacks and strokes with this medicine.

    The MHRA advises that:

    • Prescribers should not issue any new prescriptions for sibutramine (Reductil) and should review the treatment of patients taking the drug.
    • Pharmacists should stop dispensing Reductil and should advise patients to make an appointment to see their doctor at the next convenient time.
    • People who are currently taking Reductil should make a routine appointment with their doctor to discuss alternative measures to lose weight, including use of diet and exercise regimens. Patients may stop treatment before their appointment if they wish.

    NICE clinical guideline 43 recommended sibutramine for the treatment of obesity in certain circumstances. These recommendations have now been withdrawn and healthcare professionals should follow the MHRA advice.


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