Obesity Epidemic – Eat Less, Move More Isn’t Working

  • The NHS and slimming clubs, who mainly deal with weight loss by treating it as simply a food problem, don’t work
  • For more than 25 years we have helped hundreds of thousands of people to lose weight, and keep it off, by helping them get to the root cause of their emotional eating*
  • The Government’s advisory body, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), have asked healthcare professionals including GPs, England’s Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and Scottish Health Boards to provide 4 tiers of support to the obese. Tier 3 offers talking therapies, to help people identify the reasons behind why they overeat
  • We surveyed 225 CCGs and health boards in the UK. Our research reveals that the services available are grossly under resourced and too few and far between – in fact 19 per cent of CCGs and Health Boards, aren’t helping the obese at all!

We know most overweight and obese people experts at dieting and have been let down by the confusing messages put out by the Government.

Just like an alcoholic doesn’t drink because they’re thirsty, an overweight person doesn’t overeat because they’re hungry.

NICE, has signalled a new direction for the UK’s weight loss strategy - which finally includes what we’ve known (and been practising) all along. To help someone lose weight and keep it off, we need to help them get to the root cause of their emotional eating.*

The NHS continues to abandon the obese

NICE now recommend the NHS should offer the following levels of support:

  • Tier 1 – Diet and fitness plans
  • Tier 2 - Slimming Clubs
  • Tier 3 - Dedicated centres with experts in weight loss, talking therapies and exercise
  • Tier 4 - Weight loss surgery

Their guidelines also state that the dedicated centres should be everyone’s right, and free of charge.

Of the 225 who could have responded (211 in UK and 14 in Scotland) only 161 answered:

  • 31 UK areas admitted they have no dedicated centres to save patients from weight loss surgery and had no services for helping the obese AT ALL
  • 24 initially said they were unaware that it was their responsibility
  • 42 referred patients to shared facilities or locations far from home
  • 21 used centres within or near locations where weight loss surgery is performed
  • Some only considered helping those suffering from complex medical issues such as diabetes

Our Medical Director, Dr Matt Capehorn, explains:

“The confusion among CCGs is concerning – 24 were totally unaware it was even their responsibility.”

“There are far too many offering nothing at all. This means that there is no appropriate medical help for patients with severe and complex obesity.”

“Of those who did claim to offer access to dedicated centres, standards varied considerably; many shared centres with other CCGs with such massive populations it’s difficult to see how they could cope.”

Dr Capehorn went on to explain:

  • NICE guidelines recommend psychological support pre and post bariatric surgery
  • It is a myth that surgery will work for everyone. Most surgical teams will lack the skills to provide good medical management, in particular talking therapy (psychological) and behaviour change, important underlying emotional eating issues - which is crucial to prevent future weight regain*
  • Specialist programmes that offer psychological support and behaviour change, along with a very low calorie diet, should be used before bariatric surgery
  • 21 used centres within or near locations where weight loss surgery is performed
  • If the only option for obese is to give them bariatric surgery it will bankrupt the NHS

Even before the creation of NICE in 1999 LighterLife have been at the forefront of campaigning for change. And our findings show that we need this now more than ever. We will continue to shout.

“Eat less and move more” has not, and will not, solve the obesity problem raging in this country, it’s time the health care providers start using solutions that do.