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Public health

Open group behavioural weight management programmes can lead to sustained weight loss after 5 years


  • Participants in a trial in England were randomly assigned to one of three weight-loss interventions

o   Brief intervention

o   12-week open group behavioural programme (WW, formerly Weight Watchers)

o   52-week open group behavioural programme (WW)

  • At 5-year follow-up, all three groups had maintained some weight loss. The difference between groups wasn’t significant.

  • The 12-week programme incurred the lowest cost and produced the greatest Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) after 5 years. However, simulations beyond 5 years suggested the 52-wk programme would deliver the highest QALYs at the lowest cost in the longer-term.


WiseGP Actions


  1. Encourage patients motivated to lose weight to consider participating in a behavioural weight management programme, highlighting that it can lead to sustained weight loss at 5 years.

  2. Explore if your PCN dietician has links with community groups providing weight management programmes and if they signpost onto these services for ongoing support.


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