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Public Health. 2006 Sep;120(9):872-81. Epub 2006 Jul 25.

Feasibility and benefits of implementing a Slimming on Referral service in primary care using a commercial weight management partner.

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Slimming World, Clover Nook Road, Somercotes, Alfreton, Derbyshire DE55 4RF, UK.



To assess participation in a costed Slimming on Referral service and identify factors associated with success.


Simple intervention offering participation in a new service to 100 eligible patients. The setting was two Derby general practices, one inner city and one suburban.


One hundred and seven patients (mean age 50 years) attending general practice for non-obesity reasons.


BMI > or = 30, age > or = 18 years, not pregnant, no recent commercial weight management group membership, willingness to attempt weight loss.


Patients were offered free attendance at a local Slimming World group for 12 consecutive weeks. Body weight and height were measured at baseline, and questionnaires established perceived health, motivation to lose weight, employment, concerns, responsibilities and well-being. Weight was measured at each group visit. The main outcome measures were: (1) changes in body weight at 12 and 24 weeks, (2) social and demographic factors associated with barriers to enrolment, continued attendance and successful weight loss.


Ninety-one (85%) patients attended a group, with 62 completing 12 weeks. Average weight loss in participants was 5.4 kg (6.4% baseline weight). Forty-seven then chose to self-fund, with 34 (37% original group) completing a further 12 weeks. Average weight loss over the total 24 weeks was 11.1 kg (11.3% baseline weight). Regular attendance was affected by income, financial concerns (independent of actual income), age, perceived importance of weight loss and initial weight loss success. Well-being of patients significantly improved between baseline and both 12 and 24 weeks.


Collaboration with an appropriate commercial weight management organization offers a feasible weight management option that is either similar to, or better than, other options in terms of attrition, efficacy and cost.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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