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      Outcomes of a specialist weight management programme in the UK National Health Service: prospective study of 1838 patients

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          There is limited evidence on the effectiveness of weight management programmes provided within routine healthcare and inconsistent use of outcome measures. Our aim was to evaluate a large National Health Service (NHS) weight management service and report absolute and proportional weight losses over 12 months.


          Prospective observational study.


          Glasgow and Clyde Weight Management Service (GCWMS), which provides care for residents of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde area (population 1.2 million).


          All patients who began GCWMS between 1 October 2008 and 30 September 2009.


          Structured educational lifestyle programme employing cognitive behavioural therapy, 600 kcal deficit diet, physical activity advice, lower calorie diet and pharmacotherapy.

          Primary and secondary outcomes measures

          Baseline observation carried forward (BOCF), last observation carried forward (LOCF) and changes in programme completers reported using outcomes of absolute 5 kg and 5% weight losses and mean weight changes at a variety of time points.


          6505 referrals were made to GCWMS, 5637 were eligible, 3460 opted in and 1916 (34%) attended a first session. 78 patients were excluded from our analysis on 1838 patients. 72.9% of patients were women, mean age of all patients at baseline was 49.1 years, 43.3% lived in highly socioeconomically deprived areas and mean weights and body mass indices at baseline were 118.1 kg and 43.3 kg/m 2, respectively. 26% lost ≥5 kg by the end of phase 1, 30% by the end of phase 2 and 28% by the end of phase 3 (all LOCF). Weight loss was more successful among men, particularly those ≤29 years old.


          Routine NHS weight management services may achieve moderate weight losses through a comprehensive evidence-based dietary, activity and behavioural approach including psychological care. Weight losses should be reported using a range of outcome measures so that the effectiveness of different services can be compared.

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          Most cited references 10

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          Obesity prevalence from a European perspective: a systematic review

          Background Obesity has been recognised as an important contributing factor in the development of various diseases, but comparative data on this condition are limited. We therefore aimed to identify and discuss current epidemiological data on the prevalence of obesity in European countries. Methods We identified relevant published studies by means of a MEDLINE search (1990–2008) supplemented by information obtained from regulatory agencies. We only included surveys that used direct measures of weight and height and were representative of each country's overall population. Results In Europe, the prevalence of obesity (body mass index ≥ 30 kg/m2) in men ranged from 4.0% to 28.3% and in women from 6.2% to 36.5%. We observed considerable geographic variation, with prevalence rates in Central, Eastern, and Southern Europe being higher than those in Western and Northern Europe. Conclusion In Europe, obesity has reached epidemic proportions. The data presented in our review emphasise the need for effective therapeutic and preventive strategies.
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            Multicenter, placebo-controlled trial of lorcaserin for weight management.

            Lorcaserin is a selective serotonin 2C receptor agonist that could be useful in reducing body weight. In this double-blind clinical trial, we randomly assigned 3182 obese or overweight adults (mean body-mass index [the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters] of 36.2) to receive lorcaserin at a dose of 10 mg, or placebo, twice daily for 52 weeks. All patients also underwent diet and exercise counseling. At week 52, patients in the placebo group continued to receive placebo but patients in the lorcaserin group were randomly reassigned to receive either placebo or lorcaserin. Primary outcomes were weight loss at 1 year and maintenance of weight loss at 2 years. Serial echocardiography was used to identify patients in whom valvulopathy (as defined by the Food and Drug Administration) developed. At 1 year, 55.4% of patients (883 of 1595) receiving lorcaserin and 45.1% of patients (716 of 1587) receiving placebo remained in the trial; 1553 patients continued into year 2. At 1 year, 47.5% of patients in the lorcaserin group and 20.3% in the placebo group had lost 5% or more of their body weight (P<0.001), corresponding to an average loss of 5.8+/-0.2 kg with lorcaserin and 2.2+/-0.1 kg with placebo during year 1 (P<0.001). Among the patients who received lorcaserin during year 1 and who had lost 5% or more of their baseline weight at 1 year, the loss was maintained in more patients who continued to receive lorcaserin during year 2 (67.9%) than in patients who received placebo during year 2 (50.3%, P<0.001). Among 2472 patients evaluated at 1 year and 1127 evaluated at 2 years, the rate of cardiac valvulopathy was not increased with the use of lorcaserin. Among the most frequent adverse events reported with lorcaserin were headache, dizziness, and nausea. The rates of serious adverse events in the two groups were similar. In conjunction with behavioral modification, lorcaserin was associated with significant weight loss and improved maintenance of weight loss, as compared with placebo. (Funded by Arena Pharmaceuticals; number, NCT00395135.) 2010 Massachusetts Medical Society
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              Weight Watchers on prescription: An observational study of weight change among adults referred to Weight Watchers by the NHS

              Background The scale of overweight and obesity in the UK places a considerable burden on the NHS. In some areas the NHS has formed partnerships with commercial companies to offer weight management services, but there has been little evaluation of these schemes. This study is an independent audit of the Weight Watchers NHS Referral scheme and evaluates the weight change of obese and overweight adults referred to Weight Watchers (WW) by the NHS. Method Data was obtained from the WW NHS Referral Scheme database for 29,326 referral courses started after 2nd April 2007 and ending before 6th October 2009 [90% female; median age 49 years (IQR 38 - 61 years); median BMI 35.1 kg/m2 (IQR 31.8 - 39.5 kg/m2). Participants received vouchers (funded by the PCT following referral by a healthcare professional) to attend 12 WW meetings. Body weight was measured at WW meetings and relayed to the central database. Results Median weight change for all referrals was -2.8 kg [IQR -5.9 - -0.7 kg] representing -3.1% initial weight. 33% of all courses resulted in loss of ≥5% initial weight. 54% of courses were completed. Median weight change for those completing a first course was -5.4 kg [IQR -7.8 - -3.1 kg] or -5.6% of initial weight. 57% lost ≥5% initial weight. Conclusions A third of all patients who were referred to WW through the WW NHS Referral Scheme and started a 12 session course achieved ≥5% weight loss, which is usually associated with clinical benefits. This is the largest audit of NHS referral to a commercial weight loss programme in the UK and results are comparable with other options for weight loss available through primary care.

                Author and article information

                BMJ Open
                BMJ Open
                BMJ Open
                BMJ Publishing Group (BMA House, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JR )
                6 January 2014
                : 4
                : 1
                [1 ]Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow , Glasgow, UK
                [2 ]West of Scotland Cancer Surveillance Unit, UK
                [3 ]NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde , Glasgow, UK
                [4 ]Institute of Health and Wellbeing, University of Glasgow , Glasgow, UK
                Author notes
                [Correspondence to ] Dr David S Morrison; david.morrison@
                Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to

                This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 3.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:

                Nutrition and Metabolism


                weight reduction programs, weight loss, obesity


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