Glasgow obese sent to Weight Watchers

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is to cover Weight Watchers membership costs for obese patients in a new pilot to promote healthier weight and lifestyles.

Scotland’s second largest health board, Greater Glasgow and Clyde, has signed a contract with Weight Watchers for a two year pilot that will see the severely obese being referred to the weight loss service by their GP.

Despite running an existing, hospital-based weight loss programme, the NHS health board has chosen to run the pilot with Weight Watchers based on the company’s impressive track record – latest figures show that a third of almost 30,000 referred to the weight-loss programme lost at least 5% of their body weight.

In a statement, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: “People identify with Weight Watchers and evidence shows that their model is one that works. We will carry out a full evaluation of this work at the end of the pilot in two years.”

Greater Glasgow and Clyde is the second NHS board to enter an agreement with Weight Watchers. Zoe Griffiths, the weight-loss company’s head of programme and public health, said: “Weight Watchers has been supporting local health bodies and providing successful weight management services on referral since 2005”.

“With the Scottish Health Survey reporting a significant increase in the proportion of adults who are obese,” she added, “Weight Watchers recognises the importance of delivering services to help people to manage their weight”.