Focus on self-esteem and family involvement in weight loss welcome
Commenting on the latest NICE quality standard guidance, 'Obesity: prevention and lifestyle weight management in children and young people' published today, Dr Jacquie Lavin, Head of Nutrition and Research at Slimming World says:
“As the leading weight management organisation in the UK which supports 800,000 members each week to lose weight by adopting new healthy lifestyle habits, Slimming World believes strongly that weight management services for children and young people should encourage a family approach to both the prevention and management of obesity. It is vital that services promote and encourage a family approach and do not single individual children out. There is strong evidence that suggests a link between parents who are overweight and child’s propensity to obesity so we are pleased to see that family involvement is mentioned in this new quality standard guidance.
“We hope that local authorities across the country will take note of these new standards as we believe equal access to effective weight management services for children and young people should be available across the country. Currently services are not consistent meaning that some young people have access to services while others have no options. The links between overweight and poor health are well documented and there is much evidence to show that being overweight as a child increases the risk of obesity in adult life. So providing consistent services across the whole country are important for prevention of obesity too.
“Finally, it is well documented that overweight and obese children show greater signs of psychological distress than their slim counterparts and are more likely to have poor self-esteem, be depressed, have body image dissatisfaction and are more likely to be excluded by their peers, all of which may have long-term effects continuing into adulthood. At Slimming World we believe that the outcome measures of any interventions should include improvements in self-esteem, self-worth and general mental wellbeing. We’re pleased to see that the new guidance highlights the benefits of focusing on self-esteem as well as addressing diet and activity outcomes. However we believe that mental and emotional health and wellbeing could be even more strongly emphasised.”