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For many people the first step is often non-interpersonal, such as a diet book, watching diet programmes and using resources on the internet.
• There are many different types of non-interpersonal weight loss resources readily available for anyone to use
• There is no system to govern whether the information available through these means is reliable and can actually help people lose weight or whether they are considered ‘fad’ diets that do very little to help people lose weight.
The most popular type of commercial weight loss help is slimming organisations, such as Weight Watchers and Slimming World. These help by providing menus and dieting support from a group of people who are also trying to lose weight.
• Group support offers additional motivation.
• People can visit these groups with their friends which gives them extra support in their weight loss regime
• These groups often require the individual to pay a fee which creates extra motivation as people like to feel they are getting their money’s worth
• Commercial resources often cost money
Any individual in the UK can visit their local GP or nurse and ask them about the obesity strategies offered at their local healthcare clinic.
Healthcare professionals encourage people to visit the NHS and the primary care setting for help with their weight loss. There is a lot of pressure on primary care trusts and individual GP practices to provide a weight management service.
The majority of primary care trusts now have obesity strategies that include care pathways detailing how to help an individual with weight loss, from their first meeting all the way to their final treatment; this includes the more extreme cases when weight loss surgery is required.
This form of weight loss support may be based in the GP practice and simple be regular meetings with the individual GP, or include visits with specialist nurses, healthcare assistants and dieticians. The patient may also be referred to a specialist centre where they can get specialist input from a multidisciplinary team, including support from clinical psychologists and other healthcare professionals with a special interest in obesity.
Dr Matthew Capehorn, Obesity Specialist
Chairman of the Yorkshire and the Humber region of the National Obesity Forum
10046 Revised November 2012comments powered by Disqus