Next review: 2017

This guidance aims to support effective, sustainable and community-wide action to prevent obesity. It sets out how local communities, with support from local organisations and networks, can achieve this.

For the purpose of this guidance, ‘local community’ refers to a group of people from the same geographic location that is not necessarily related to any official, administrative boundary.

This guidance focuses on the prevention of overweight and obesity. The recommendations may also help people who are already overweight or obese to lose weight, or to prevent them from gaining further weight. It does not cover clinical management for people who are already overweight or obese.

This guidance is for local policy makers, commissioners, managers, practitioners and other professionals working in local authorities, the NHS and the wider public, private, voluntary and community sectors.

The recommendations will also be of interest to academic organisations involved in designing and evaluating community-wide interventions to prevent and manage obesity, as well as members of the public.

The 14 recommendations cover:

  • developing a sustainable, community-wide approach to obesity
  • strategic leadership
  • supporting leadership at all levels
  • coordinating local action
  • communication
  • involving the community
  • integrated commissioning
  • involving local businesses and social enterprises operating in the local area
  • local authorities and the NHS as exemplars of good practice
  • planning systems for monitoring and evaluation
  • implementing monitoring and evaluation functions
  • cost effectiveness
  • organisational development and training
  • scrutiny and accountability.

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 are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or service users. The application of the recommendations in this guideline is not mandatory and the guideline does not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.

Local commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients or service users 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 compliance with those duties.

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