The NHS weight management pilot campaign has been extended to the 31 March 2024 after 820 mid and south Essex residents signed up to NHS England’s Digital Weight Management Programme. The free 12-week online self-referral programme was rolled out by NHS Mid and South Essex, as one of four areas chosen to take part in the national pilot.
The programme is free, easy to access and helps residents develop healthier eating habits, be more active, lose weight, and improve their health. It provides recipes and nutrition advice, wellbeing support and tips to boost your physical activity levels. As an online programme, it can be completed anywhere in your own time.
In England 62% of adults are living with being overweight, of which 25% are obese. Obesity is a serious health concern that increases the risk of many other health conditions, including Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, joint problems, mental health problems, and some cancers. This includes groups and communities that are more likely to face higher risks of ill health due to obesity, particularly younger adults in Black, Asian and ethnic minority communities.
The first pilot programme focused on Thurrock where rates of adult obesity are the highest in mid and south Essex, which is higher than that of both east of England and England.
The response from our residents to the digital weight campaign pilot has been terrific, so when we were asked if we would like to extend the programme we jumped at the chance. This programme offers a flexible approach with a range of benefits, such as dietary advice, physical activity guidance and support to help our residents achieve a healthier lifestyle. It also gives us the opportunity to reach out to those who will really benefit from taking the challenging step to lose some weight and make a positive impact on their health.
The outcome of the pilot programme is also being used to better understand the barriers to accessing existing services so that we can tailor future care and support. For the next phase of the pilot the focus will be to target men from Thurrock, Southend-on-Sea and Basildon.Dr Peter Scolding, Assistant Medical Director at NHS Mid and South Essex
This programme is open to anyone who meets the following criteria:
- Aged eighteen years or over
- Living with obesity BMI or 30 or above and 27 or above for people from black and south Asian communities
There are exclusions, which are:
- Being pregnant
- Has an active diagnosed eating disorder
- Has had bariatric surgery in the last two years
Residents will also need access to:
- a mobile-phone number
- an email address
- the internet
Residents who meet the criteria can sign up below:Sign up to the NHS Weight Management Programme