A WEIGHT loss expert who dropped four dress sizes to become a consultant has welcomed advice that the NHS should send obese and overweight people to slimming clubs.
Jo Gilmore, who set up her Slimming World group in Stapenhill earlier this year, spoke out following guidance released by The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) which suggests sending people on “lifestyle weight management programmes” will save the health service money.
The 61-page document, sent out to doctors and local authorities, says 12-week programmes costing £100 or less can be cost-effective.
Mrs Gilmore, who has now lost five stone in 11 months to set up her own weight loss group, said: “The NHS are backing slimming groups because they work and it is costing them so much money on the NHS for people who are obese compared to a Slimming World 12-week session which costs £49.50 and encourages a healthier lifestyle.”
NICE said approved schemes must be proven to be effective at 12 to 18 months, which it said Slimming World, Rosemary Conley and Weight Watchers had shown they were.
Obesity is costing the British economy and the NHS £5.1 billion a year and that only smoking was a bigger health issue for the country.
Carol Weir, guidance developer for Nice, said: “It is not something where you can just wake up one morning and say ‘I am going to lose 10lbs’ - it takes resolve, it takes encouragement, and one of the things about involvement in these programmes is the mutual support from others who try to do the same thing seems to be hugely helpful from a motivational point of view.”
It is a theory, Mrs Gilmore agrees with, saying: “I think it is really good because people who are struggling with their weight at least they know they can go to their doctor who can refer them to a group for help and support. I think it is really important to be part of a group rather than sit at home because you meet other slimmers who can help you.”
Jo joined Slimming World after having to wear size 20 work trousers. She had been size 16 to 18 since having her son. After joining Slimming World, she lost four stone and slimmed into size 12, and is now a slimming consultant.