This guideline covers multi-component lifestyle weight management services including programmes, courses, clubs or groups provided by the public, private and voluntary sector. The aim is to help people lose weight and become more physically active to reduce the risk of diseases associated with obesity. This includes coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and various cancers.

NICE has also produced guidelines on obesity identification and management and the local strategic approach to obesity.

This guideline does not cover prevention, pharmacological treatments or specialist weight management services. It also does not cover pregnant women or adults with a range of complex conditions.


This guideline includes recommendations on:

Who is it for?

  • Commissioners
  • Health professionals
  • Providers of lifestyle weight management programmes
  • Adults who are overweight or obese, their families and other members of the public

Is this guideline up to date?

We checked this guideline in March 2017 and decided not to update it (see the surveillance decision). However, the recommendations will be included in the NICE guideline on weight management (see the weight management guideline development page).

Guideline development process

How we develop NICE guidelines

This guideline replaces section 1.1.7 of obesity prevention NICE guideline CG43 (2006).

This guideline was previously called managing overweight and obesity in adults – lifestyle weight management services.

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals and practitioners are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or the people using their service. It is not mandatory to apply the recommendations, and the guideline does not override the responsibility to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual, in consultation with them and their families and carers or guardian.

All problems (adverse events) related to a medicine or medical device used for treatment or in a procedure should be reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency using the Yellow Card Scheme.

Local commissioners and providers of healthcare have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual professionals and people using services wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with complying with those duties.

Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.