About this guideline

What does this guideline cover?

This guideline is a partial update of NICE's guideline on obesity (2006). It will replace recommendations to in section 1.1.1 (see the scope).

It does not cover weaning, the particular needs of women during pregnancy or people who have conditions that increase their risk of becoming overweight or obese. It also does not cover interventions to:

  • prevent children or adults becoming overweight or obese

  • identify or assess people who are overweight or obese

  • manage the weight of people who are overweight or obese.

(See related NICE guidance for other recommendations that may be relevant to identifying, preventing and managing overweight and obesity.)

The absence of any recommendations on interventions that fall within the scope of this guideline is a result of lack of evidence. It should not be taken as a judgement on whether they are cost effective.

How was this guideline developed?

The recommendations are based on the best available evidence. They were developed by the Public Health Advisory Committee (PHAC).

Members of the PHAC are listed in membership of the Public Health Advisory Committee and the NICE project team.

For information on how NICE public health guidelines are developed, see the NICE public health guideline process and methods guides.

What evidence is the guideline based on?

The evidence that the PHAC considered included:

  • Evidence reviews:

    • Review 1 'An evidence review of modifiable diet and physical activity components, and associated behaviours', was carried out by Bazian. The principal authors were: Alicia White, Sarah Caton, Rob Davies, Alex Bhatti, Laura Johnson, Simon Sebire.

    • Review 2 'Qualitative evidence review of the most acceptable ways to communicate information about individually modifiable behaviours to help maintain a healthy weight or prevent excess weight gain' was carried out by Bazian. The principal authors were: Rob Davies, Alicia White, Sarah Caton, Alex Bhatti, Laura Johnson, Simon Sebire.

  • 'Maintenance of a healthy weight and prevention of weight gain in children and adults. Cost effectiveness considerations from a population modelling viewpoint' was produced by NICE. The principal author was Alastair Fischer.

In some cases the evidence was insufficient and the PHAC has made recommendations for future research. For the research recommendations and gaps in research, see recommendations for research and gaps in the evidence.

Status of this guideline

The draft guideline, including the recommendations, was released for consultation in September 2014. At its meeting in November 2014, the PHAC amended the guideline in light of comments from stakeholders and experts and the fieldwork. The guideline was signed off by the NICE Guidance Executive in February 2015.

The guideline replaces section 1.1.1 of NICE's guideline on obesity. (For further details, see related NICE guidance).

The recommendations should be read in conjunction with existing NICE guidance unless explicitly stated otherwise. They should be implemented in light of duties set out in the Equality Act 2010.

The guideline is available on NICE's website. The recommendations are also available in a pathway on obesity for professionals whose remit includes public health and for interested members of the public.

NICE produces guidance, standards and information on commissioning and providing high-quality healthcare, social care, and public health services. We have agreements to provide certain NICE services to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Decisions on how NICE guidance and other products apply in those countries are made by ministers in the Welsh government, Scottish government, and Northern Ireland Executive. NICE guidance or other products may include references to organisations or people responsible for commissioning or providing care that may be relevant only to England.


NICE guidelines can help:

NICE has developed tools to help organisations put this guideline into practice.

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)