This guideline makes recommendations on the provision of effective multi-component lifestyle weight management services for adults who are overweight or obese (aged 18 and over). It covers weight management programmes, courses, clubs or groups that aim to change someone's behaviour to reduce their energy intake and encourage them to be physically active.
The aim is to help meet a range of public health goals. These include helping reduce the risk of the main diseases associated with obesity, for example: coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, osteoarthritis, type 2 diabetes and various cancers (endometrial, breast, kidney and colon).
The focus is on lifestyle weight management programmes that:
accept self-referrals or referrals from health or social care practitioners
are provided by the public, private or voluntary sector
are based in the community, workplaces, primary care or online.
Usually known as 'tier 2' services (see Tiers of weight management services), these programmes are just 1 part of a comprehensive approach to preventing and treating obesity. Clinical judgement will be needed to determine whether they are suitable for people with conditions that increase the risk of, or are associated with, obesity or who have complex needs.
The guideline is for commissioners, health professionals and providers of lifestyle weight management programmes. (For further details, see Who should take action?) The guideline may also be of interest to overweight and obese adults, their families and other members of the public.
See About this guideline for details of how the guideline was developed and its current status.