Introduction: Slimming World on Referral is a subsidised partnership between Slimming World and NHS and local government commissioners, providing a cost-effective, 12-week, weight management intervention. This analysis investigates the weight and behaviour change outcomes in patients referred to this service between 2014 to 2018.
Methods: Data from 21,149 patients who were referred to Slimming World for an initial 12-weeks and completed an evaluation questionnaire at the end of their referral (20.0% response rate) were collated. Weight and attendance data (from electronic records), changes in dietary and physical activity behaviours and ratings about the Slimming World group and information provided (from the questionnaire using 5-point Likert scales) were analysed.
Results: Mean baseline BMI and age were 37.3±6.2 kg/m2 and 50.4±13.6 years, with 14.9% males. Mean weight change and number of sessions attended was −6.5%±3.5% and 10.3±2.0, respectively. A clinically significant weight loss of ≥5% was achieved by 67.2% of patients and 15.9% of patients achieved a weight loss of ≥10%. After attending Slimming World, patients reported cooking from scratch more (56.7%) and eating less takeaways/fast-food (65.7%) and were less likely to eat processed foods (62.6%). Almost two-thirds were more likely to eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day (57.5%), which was associated with greater weight loss (β=−0.41, P<0.001). Almost half of patients were less likely to watch television (49.6%) and less likely to avoid moderate or intense physical activity (54.3%). Patients also reported going out for walks more often (57.0%). The majority of patients found the Slimming World groups to be enjoyable and the information provided to be useful (mean ratings of 4.1 and 4.4, out of 5 respectively). The majority of patients reported that Slimming World improved the way they feel about themselves (mean rating of 3.9).
Discussion: Slimming World on Referral helped to support patients to adopt healthier dietary and physical activity behaviours and lose weight. Referral to Slimming World also led to an improvement in how patients felt about themselves.
Keywords: Weight management, behaviour change, referral, lifestyle intervention
Disclosure: All authors work at Slimming World.
12 Sep 2019 - 13 Sep 2019