This guideline covers how local communities, with support from local organisations and networks, can help prevent people from becoming overweight or obese or help them lose weight. It aims to support sustainable and community-wide action to achieve this.

NICE has also produced a guideline on obesity.

The guidance will support the Department of Health’s Healthy lives, healthy people: a call to action on obesity in England and the public health outcomes framework. It provides an organisational framework for existing NICE guidance about obesity prevention or management.

In June 2017, we amended the wording of the section headed ‘Whose health will benefit from these recommendations?’ to include people with learning disabilities.


This guideline includes recommendations on:

Who is it for?

  • Policy makers, commissioners, managers and practitioners in local authorities, the NHS and the wider public, private, voluntary and community sectors
  • Academic organisations involved in community-wide interventions to prevent and manage obesity
  • Members of the public

Is this guideline up to date?

We checked this guideline in May 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

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.