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Obesity: working with local communities overview

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Obesity: working with local communities

About

What is covered

This pathway focuses on an overarching approach to overweight and obese adults and overweight and obese children in local communities. It focuses on the importance of integrating action on obesity in other local agendas (such as initiatives to prevent type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancers, or initiatives to improve the environment and promote sustainability).
The pathway will support the Government's Call for Action on Obesity and the public health outcomes framework. It provides an organisational framework for existing NICE guidance (community-based or individual interventions) that directly or indirectly impacts on obesity prevention or management.
The ongoing structural changes to the public sector, particularly local authorities and the NHS, have influenced the direction and tone of the recommendations. Throughout this pathway, audiences most likely to find particular information helpful have been flagged, but given the ongoing structural changes it is recommended that all interested parties review the pathway in its entirety. This pathway is intended to support organisations that have a role in obesity prevention in the wider public health agenda, including Public Health England, the National Commissioning Board, local authorities, local Healthwatch, local health and wellbeing boards and clinical commissioning groups.

Updates

Updates to this pathway

18 January 2016 Obesity in adults: prevention and lifestyle weight management programmes (NICE quality standard 111) added to this pathway.
28 September 2015 Minor maintenance updates.
22 July 2015 Obesity in children and young people: prevention and lifestyle weight management programmes (NICE quality standard 94) added to this pathway.
2 September 2014 Minor maintenance update.
11 March 2014 Minor maintenance update.
Part of BMI and waist circumference – black, Asian and minority ethnic groups, NICE public health guidance 46 (2013) added to this pathway in the obesity: communication path.
Links to the 'Preventing type 2 diabetes pathway' have been added to the advocacy, language and training for health and other professionals nodes.
A link to the 'Diet pathway' has been added to the training for health and other professionals node.
Part of Obesity, NICE clinical guideline 43 (2006) added to the primary care and community-based programmes and interventions nodes.

Guiding principles

The recommendations should be undertaken in parallel, wherever possible as part of a system-wide approach to preventing obesity. Ideally, to be as cost effective as possible, they should be implemented as part of integrated programmes that address the whole population, but with a scale and intensity that is proportionate to addressing locally identified inequalities in obesity and associated diseases and conditions.
The guidance provides a framework for existing NICE guidance (community based or individual interventions) that directly or indirectly impacts on obesity prevention or management.
Other NICE guidance can also be used to ensure effective delivery of the recommendations made in this guidance (see community engagement, behaviour change and cultural appropriateness below).

Community engagement

The prerequisites for effective community engagement are covered in NICE's pathway on community engagement. These include:
  • coordinated implementation of the relevant policy initiatives
  • a commitment to long-term investment
  • openness to organisational and cultural change
  • a willingness to share 'power', as appropriate, between statutory and community organisations
  • the development of trust and respect among all those involved.
The guidance states that the following should also be in place to ensure effective local practice:
  • support to ensure those working with the community – including members of that community – receive appropriate training and development opportunities
  • formal mechanisms that endorse partnership working
  • support for effective implementation of area-based initiatives.

Behaviour change

The prerequisites for effective interventions and programmes aimed at changing behaviour are covered in NICE's pathway on behaviour change. In summary, NICE recommends that interventions and programmes should be based on:
  • careful planning, taking into account the local and national context and working in partnership with recipients
  • a sound knowledge of community needs
  • existing skills and resources, by identifying and building on the strengths of individuals and communities and the relationships within communities.
In addition, interventions and programmes should be evaluated, either locally or as part of a larger project, and practitioners should be equipped with the necessary competencies and skills to support behaviour change. This includes knowing how to use evidence-based tools. (NICE recommends that courses for practitioners should be based on theoretically informed, evidence-based best practice.)

Cultural appropriateness

The prerequisites for culturally appropriate action are outlined in the preventing type 2 diabetes pathway. The guidance emphasises that culturally appropriate action takes account of the community's cultural or religious beliefs and language and literacy skills by:
  • Using community resources to improve awareness of, and increase access to, interventions. For example, they involve community organisations and leaders early on in the development stage, use media, plan events or make use of festivals specific to black and minority ethnic groups.
  • Understanding the target community and the messages that resonate with them.
  • Identifying and addressing barriers to access and participation, for example, by keeping costs low to ensure affordability, and by taking account of different working patterns and education levels.
  • Developing communication strategies that are sensitive to language use and information requirements. For example, they involve staff who can speak the languages used by the community. In addition, they may provide information in different languages and for varying levels of literacy (for example, by using colour-coded visual aids and the spoken rather than the written word).
  • Taking account of cultural or religious values, for example, the need for separate physical activity sessions for men and women, or in relation to body image, or beliefs and practices about hospitality and food. They also take account of religious and cultural practices that may mean certain times of the year, days of the week, settings, or timings are not suitable for community events or interventions. In addition, they provide opportunities to discuss how interventions would work in the context of people's lives.
  • Considering how closely aligned people are to their ethnic group or religion and whether they are exposed to influences from both the mainstream and their community in relation to diet and physical activity.

Short Text

This pathway sets out how local communities, with support from local organisations and networks, can work together aims to achieve effective, sustainable and community-wide action to prevent obesity.

What is covered

This pathway focuses on an overarching approach to overweight and obese adults and overweight and obese children in local communities. It focuses on the importance of integrating action on obesity in other local agendas (such as initiatives to prevent type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancers, or initiatives to improve the environment and promote sustainability).
The pathway will support the Government's Call for Action on Obesity and the public health outcomes framework. It provides an organisational framework for existing NICE guidance (community-based or individual interventions) that directly or indirectly impacts on obesity prevention or management.
The ongoing structural changes to the public sector, particularly local authorities and the NHS, have influenced the direction and tone of the recommendations. Throughout this pathway, audiences most likely to find particular information helpful have been flagged, but given the ongoing structural changes it is recommended that all interested parties review the pathway in its entirety. This pathway is intended to support organisations that have a role in obesity prevention in the wider public health agenda, including Public Health England, the National Commissioning Board, local authorities, local Healthwatch, local health and wellbeing boards and clinical commissioning groups.

Updates

Updates to this pathway

18 January 2016 Obesity in adults: prevention and lifestyle weight management programmes (NICE quality standard 111) added to this pathway.
28 September 2015 Minor maintenance updates.
22 July 2015 Obesity in children and young people: prevention and lifestyle weight management programmes (NICE quality standard 94) added to this pathway.
2 September 2014 Minor maintenance update.
11 March 2014 Minor maintenance update.
Part of BMI and waist circumference – black, Asian and minority ethnic groups, NICE public health guidance 46 (2013) added to this pathway in the obesity: communication path.
Links to the 'Preventing type 2 diabetes pathway' have been added to the advocacy, language and training for health and other professionals nodes.
A link to the 'Diet pathway' has been added to the training for health and other professionals node.
Part of Obesity, NICE clinical guideline 43 (2006) added to the primary care and community-based programmes and interventions nodes.

Sources

NICE guidance

The NICE guidance that was used to create the pathway.
Obesity (2006) NICE guideline CG43
Obesity: working with local communities (2012) NICE guideline PH42

Quality standards

Quality statements

Vending machines

This quality statement is taken from the obesity in adults: prevention and lifestyle weight management programmes quality standard. The quality standard defines clinical best practice in obesity prevention in adults and should be read in full.

Quality statement

Adults using vending machines in local authority and NHS venues can buy healthy food and drink options.

Rationale

The environment in which people live influences their ability to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Local authorities and NHS organisations can set an example by providing healthy food and drink choices at their venues. They can influence venues in the community (such as leisure centres) and services provided by commercial organisations to have a positive impact on the diet of adults using them.

Quality measures

Structure
Evidence that local authorities and NHS organisations provide, or make contractual arrangements for the provision of, healthy food and drink options in any vending machines in their venues.
Data source: Local data collection.
Process
Proportion of local authority and NHS venues with vending machines that contain healthy food and drink options.
Numerator – the number in the denominator that have vending machines that contain healthy food and drink options.
Denominator – the number of local authority and NHS venues with vending machines.
Data source: Local data collection.

What the quality statement means for local authorities and NHS organisations

Local authorities and NHS organisations ensure that any vending machines in their venues offer healthy food and drink options.

What the quality statement means for adults

Adults have a choice of healthy food and drink options available from vending machines in local authority and NHS venues such as hospitals, clinics and leisure centres.

Source guidance

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Healthy food and drink
Food and drink that helps people to follow Public Health England’s eatwell plate advice, and that does not contain high levels of salt, fat, saturated fat or sugar. Public Health England’s Healthier, more sustainable catering: information for those involved in purchasing food and drink provides definitions for low, medium and high levels of fat, saturates, sugars and salt per portion/serving size for food and drink. The Change4Life website gives suggestions for healthy food and drink alternatives.
[Expert consensus]

Nutritional information at the point of choosing food and drink options

This quality statement is taken from the obesity in adults: prevention and lifestyle weight management programmes quality standard. The quality standard defines clinical best practice in obesity prevention in adults and should be read in full.

Quality statement

Adults see details of nutritional information on menus at local authority and NHS venues.

Rationale

Providing details about the nutritional content of food will allow people to make an informed choice when choosing meals. This information will help people achieve or maintain a healthy weight by enabling them to manage their daily nutritional intake.

Quality measures

Structure
Evidence that local authorities and NHS organisations ensure that information on the nutritional content of meals is included on menus at venues.
Data source: Local data collection.

What the quality statement means for local authorities and NHS organisations

Local authorities and NHS organisations ensure that their venues provide details about the nutritional content of menu items.

What the quality statement means for adults

Adults selecting meals in catering facilities in local authority and NHS venues such as hospitals, clinics and leisure centres have information on the nutritional content of meals to help them choose.

Source guidance

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Nutritional information
This includes details on the calorie content of meals as well as information on the fat, saturated fat, salt and sugar content. If the nutritional value of recipes is not known, ingredients should be listed and cooking methods described.
[Adapted from expert consensus and Type 2 diabetes prevention (NICE guideline PH35), recommendation 8]

Equality and diversity considerations

Information needs to be available in a variety of languages and formats to ensure that it is accessible to people of all ages and meets the needs of the community. Nutritional information should be available in a variety of formats appropriate to the target audience. The format of this information should be suitable for people with sensory impairment.

Prominent placement of healthy options

This quality statement is taken from the obesity in adults: prevention and lifestyle weight management programmes quality standard. The quality standard defines clinical best practice in obesity prevention in adults and should be read in full.

Quality statement

Adults see healthy food and drink choices displayed prominently in local authority and NHS venues.

Rationale

Local authorities and NHS organisations can set an example by ensuring that healthy food and drink choices are promoted in their venues. Prominent positioning will help to ensure that people will consider healthier options when they are choosing food and drink.

Quality measures

Structure
Evidence that local authority and NHS venues make arrangements to display healthy food and drink options in prominent positions.
Data source: Local data collection.
Outcome
Sales of healthy food and drink options.
Data source: Local data collection.

What the quality statement means for local authorities and NHS organisations

Local authorities and NHS organisations ensure that healthy food and drink choices are displayed in prominent positions in their venues.

What the quality statement means for adults

Adults can easily find healthy foods and drinks when using catering facilities in local authority or NHS venues such as hospitals, clinics and leisure centres.

Source guidance

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Healthy food and drink choices
Food and drink that helps people to meet Public Health England’s eatwell plate advice, and that does not contain high levels of salt, fat, saturated fat or sugar. Public Health England’s Healthier, more sustainable catering: information for those involved in purchasing food and drink provides definitions for low, medium and high levels of fat, saturates, sugars and salt per portion/serving size for food and drink. The Change4Life website gives suggestions for healthy food and drink alternatives.
[Expert consensus] 

Maintaining details of local lifestyle weight management programmes

This quality statement is taken from the obesity in adults: prevention and lifestyle weight management programmes quality standard. The quality standard defines clinical best practice in obesity prevention in adults and should be read in full.

Quality statement

Adults have access to a publicly available, up-to-date list of local lifestyle weight management programmes.

Rationale

Effective lifestyle weight management programmes for adults can be delivered by a range of organisations and in different locations. The local authority should maintain an up-to-date list of local lifestyle weight management programmes and make it available to the public. Raising awareness of locally provided programmes is important to ensure that the public know about the programmes in their area and how to enrol in them. Increased public awareness may lead to more self-referrals to these programmes.

Quality measures

Structure
Evidence that an up-to-date list of local lifestyle weight management programmes for adults is publicly available.
Data source: Local data collection.
Outcome
Number of self-referrals of overweight or obese adults to locally commissioned lifestyle weight management programmes.
Data source: Local data collection.

What the quality statement means for providers of lifestyle weight management programmes, commissioners and local authorities

Providers of lifestyle weight management programmes ensure that they provide local authorities with up-to-date information about local lifestyle weight management programmes for overweight and obese adults.
Commissioners (such as NHS England, clinical commissioning groups and local authorities) ensure that information about lifestyle weight management programmes is available across all health and care services.
Local authorities ensure that they maintain a publicly available, up-to-date list of local lifestyle weight management programmes for overweight and obese adults.

What the quality statement means for adults

Adults can easily find information about lifestyle weight management programmes in their area and how to enrol in them.

Source guidance

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Lifestyle weight management programmes
Lifestyle weight management programmes for overweight or obese adults are multicomponent programmes that aim to reduce a person’s energy intake and help them to be more physically active by changing their behaviour and working towards achievable goals. They should last for at least 3 months, with sessions that are offered at least weekly or fortnightly and include a ‘weigh-in’ at each session. They may include weight management programmes, courses or clubs that:
  • accept adults through self-referral or referral from a health or social care practitioner
  • are provided by the public, private or voluntary sector
  • are based in the community, workplaces, primary care or online.
Although local definitions vary, these are usually called tier 2 services and form part of a comprehensive approach to preventing and treating obesity.
[Adapted from Weight management: lifestyle services for overweight or obese adults (NICE guideline PH53) recommendation 9, glossary and expert opinion]
List of local lifestyle weight management programmes
The list should include details of programmes that have been commissioned by the local authority or clinical commissioning group and other public, private or voluntary evidence-based programmes.
[Adapted from Weight management: lifestyle services for overweight or obese adults (NICE guideline PH53) recommendation 9, glossary and expert opinion]

Equality and diversity considerations

Local authorities should take into account the cultural and communication needs of the local population when providing a publicly accessible list of local lifestyle weight management programmes.

Publishing performance data on local lifestyle weight management programmes

This quality statement is taken from the obesity in adults: prevention and lifestyle weight management programmes quality standard. The quality standard defines clinical best practice in obesity prevention in adults and should be read in full.

Quality statement

Adults can access data on attendance, outcomes and views of participants and staff from locally commissioned lifestyle weight management programmes.

Rationale

It is important that providers of lifestyle weight management programmes measure outcomes of the programmes and make the results available. This will allow commissioners and the general public to monitor and evaluate particular programmes to assess whether they are meeting their objectives and providing value for money. This ensures that any issues with the programmes are identified as early as possible, so that the programmes can be improved, leading to better outcomes for adults using the programmes. It will also help adults to select lifestyle weight management programmes.

Quality measures

Structure
a) Evidence that commissioners and providers of lifestyle weight management programmes jointly agree the key performance indicators to be collected for monitoring and evaluation.
Data source: Local data collection.
b) Evidence that commissioners and providers of lifestyle weight management programmes have used data from monitoring and evaluation to amend and improve programmes.
Data source: Local data collection.
Process
a) Proportion of adults recruited to a locally commissioned lifestyle weight management programme who have information on attendance, outcomes and views of participants and staff collected at recruitment and completion.
Numerator – the number in the denominator who have information on attendance, outcomes and views of participants and staff collected at recruitment and completion.
Denominator – the number of adults recruited to a locally commissioned lifestyle weight management programme.
Data source: Local data collection.
b) Proportion of adults who complete a lifestyle weight management programme who have data on outcomes collected 6 months after completion of the programme.
Numerator – the number in the denominator who have data on outcomes collected 6 months after completion of the programme.
Denominator – the number of adults who complete a lifestyle weight management programme.
Data source: Local data collection.
c) Proportion of adults who complete a lifestyle weight management programme who have data on outcomes collected 1 year after completion of the programme.
Numerator – the number in the denominator who have data on outcomes collected 1 year after completion of the programme.
Denominator – the number of adults who complete a lifestyle weight management programme.
Data source: Local data collection.
Outcome
Improved performance of local lifestyle weight management programmes.

What the quality statement means for service providers, healthcare professionals and commissioners

Service providers (such as local authorities and providers of lifestyle weight management programmes) ensure that they publish data on attendance, outcomes and views of participants and staff. Providers of lifestyle weight management programmes should use the data to monitor and evaluate their programmes. Data sharing should be in line with the Department of Health’s information governance and data protection requirements.
Healthcare professionals (such as GPs, dietitians and practice nurses) consider data on attendance, outcomes and views of participants and staff for local lifestyle weight management programmes before offering information or a referral.
Commissioners (such as NHS England, clinical commissioning groups and local authorities) agree key performance indicators for lifestyle weight management programmes providers, and ensure the data are published. Commissioners use the data on attendance, outcomes and views of participants and staff to improve local provision of lifestyle weight management services.

What the quality statement means for adults

Adults can find published information about their local lifestyle weight management programmes, including how many people enrol in them, how much weight people lose and how good people think the programme is.

Source guidance

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Lifestyle weight management programmes
Lifestyle weight management programmes for overweight or obese adults are multicomponent programmes that aim to reduce a person’s energy intake and help them to be more physically active by changing their behaviour and working towards achievable goals. They should last for at least 3 months, with sessions that are offered at least weekly or fortnightly and include a ‘weigh-in’ at each session. They may include weight management programmes, courses or clubs that:
  • accept adults through self-referral or referral from a health or social care practitioner
  • are provided by the public, private or voluntary sector
  • are based in the community, workplaces, primary care or online.
Although local definitions vary, these are usually called tier 2 services and form part of a comprehensive approach to preventing and treating obesity.
[Adapted from Weight management: lifestyle services for overweight or obese adults (NICE guideline PH53) recommendation 9, glossary and expert opinion]
Data on attendance, outcomes and views of participants and staff
Providers of lifestyle weight management programmes should use the standard evaluation framework for weight management programmes and validated tools to monitor interventions.
As a minimum, information on participants at the end of the programme should be collected and assessed, in line with the Department of Health's Best practice criteria for weight management services. Details of how each participant’s weight has changed 12 months after the programme is completed should also be collected.
[Weight management: lifestyle services for overweight or obese adults (2014) NICE guideline PH53, recommendation 17]

Equality and diversity considerations

When monitoring and evaluating lifestyle weight management programmes, information also needs to be collected on the programmes’ suitability for minority groups, for example groups with different family origins or religions and groups with disabilities. Reasonable adaptations should be made to the programmes to make them accessible to these groups and to assess their impact on health inequalities.

Raising awareness of lifestyle weight management programmes

This quality statement is taken from the obesity in adults: prevention and lifestyle weight management programmes quality standard. The quality standard defines clinical best practice in obesity prevention in adults and should be read in full.

Quality statement

Adults identified as being overweight or obese are given information about local lifestyle weight management programmes.

Rationale

When adults are identified as being overweight or obese it is important that they are given information about local lifestyle weight management programmes. Actively raising the possibility of participation in one of these programmes will support people who choose to take positive action to lose weight by self-referring to a suitable programme.

Quality measures

Structure
Evidence of local arrangements to give adults who are identified as being overweight or obese information about local lifestyle weight management programmes.
Data source: Local data collection.
Process
Proportion of adults identified as being overweight or obese who are given information about local lifestyle weight management programmes.
Numerator – the number in the denominator who are given information about local weight management programmes.
Denominator – the number of adults identified as being overweight or obese.
Data source: Local data collection. Data on BMI values are included in the Health and Social Care Information Centre care.data extract.
Outcome
a) Number of self-referrals of overweight or obese adults to lifestyle weight management programmes.
Data source: Local data collection.
b) Obesity prevalence.
Data source: Local data collection.
c) Prevalence of obesity-related comorbidities.
Data source: Local data collection. The numbers of people with type 2 diabetes, hypertension and coronary heart disease are shown in the Quality and outcomes framework indicators DM001, HYP001 and CHD001.

What the quality statement means for service providers, healthcare professionals and commissioners

Service providers provide information about local lifestyle weight management programmes to adults identified as being overweight or obese.
Healthcare professionals (such as GPs, practice nurses, secondary healthcare professionals, dietitians and community pharmacists) ensure that they provide information about local lifestyle weight management programmes to adults identified as being overweight or obese.
Commissioners (such as NHS England, clinical commissioning groups and local authorities) ensure that they commission services that provide information about local lifestyle weight management programmes to adults identified as being overweight or obese.

What the quality statement means for adults

Adults who are overweight or obese are given information about local lifestyle weight management programmes, including what the programmes involve and how to take part.

Source guidance

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Adults who are overweight or obese
Adults are assessed to see if they are overweight or obese using their body mass index (BMI). The following table shows the cut-off points for a healthy weight or being overweight or obese.
Classification
BMI (kg/m2)
Healthy weight
18.5–24.9
Overweight
25.0–29.9
Obesity I
30.0–34.9
Obesity II
35.0–39.9
Obesity III
40.0 or more
BMI is a less accurate indicator of adiposity in adults who are highly muscular, so it should be interpreted with caution in this group.
Waist circumference can also be used to assess whether someone is at risk of health problems because they are overweight or obese (up to a BMI of 35 kg/m2). For men, a waist circumference of less than 94 cm is low risk, 94–102 cm is high risk and more than 102 cm is very high risk. For women, a waist circumference of less than 80 cm is low risk, 80–88 cm is high risk and more than 88 cm is very high risk.
Using lower BMI thresholds to trigger action to reduce the risk of conditions such as type 2 diabetes has been recommended for adults of black African, African-Caribbean or Asian family origin. The lower thresholds are 23 kg/m2 to indicate increased risk and 27.5 kg/m2 to indicate high risk.

Equality and diversity considerations

Service providers and healthcare professionals should take into account the cultural and communication needs of people who are overweight or obese when giving information about lifestyle weight management programmes.
Healthcare professionals should ensure that people of black African, African-Caribbean or Asian family origin who have higher comorbidity risk factors are given information about lifestyle weight management programmes if they have a BMI of 23 kg/m2 or more.
Providers of lifestyle weight management programmes should have an inclusive approach that encourages people from all backgrounds to participate. This includes using a respectful and non-judgemental approach to engage people. Particular attention should be given to people who may be less likely to participate, such as people with learning difficulties or mental health problems and those from lower socioeconomic groups.
Providers of lifestyle weight management programmes should be able to meet the specific needs of women who are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or are trying to lose weight after pregnancy.

Referral to a lifestyle weight management programme for people with comorbidities

This quality statement is taken from the obesity in adults: prevention and lifestyle weight management programmes quality standard. The quality standard defines clinical best practice in obesity prevention in adults and should be read in full.

Quality statement

Adults identified as overweight or obese with comorbidities are offered a referral to a lifestyle weight management programme.

Rationale

It is important for general practice teams and other healthcare professionals to offer a referral to a local lifestyle weight management programme to adults who are overweight or obese with comorbidities in order to improve their health outcomes.

Quality measures

Structure
Evidence of local arrangements to ensure that adults who are identified as overweight or obese with comorbidities are offered a referral to a lifestyle weight management programme.
Data source: Local data collection.
Process
Proportion of adults who are identified as overweight or obese with comorbidities who are referred to a lifestyle weight management programme.
Numerator – the number in the denominator who are referred to a lifestyle weight management programme.
Denominator – the number of adults who are identified as overweight or obese with comorbidities.
Data source: Local data collection.
Outcome
a) Number of adults who are identified as overweight or obese with comorbidities enrolling in lifestyle weight management services.
Data source: Local data collection.
b) Obesity prevalence among adults with comorbidities.
Data source: Local data collection.
c) Obesity-related comorbidities
Data source: Local data collection. The number of people with type 2 diabetes, hypertension and coronary heart disease is shown in the Quality and outcomes framework indicators DM001, HYP001 and CHD001.

What the quality statement means for service providers, healthcare professionals and commissioners

Service providers (such as local authorities and providers of lifestyle weight management programmes) ensure that a referral to a locally commissioned suitable lifestyle weight management programme is offered to adults who are identified as overweight or obese and who have comorbidities.
Healthcare professionals (such as GPs, practice nurses and dietitians) offer a referral to a locally commissioned lifestyle weight management programme to adults who are identified as overweight or obese and who have comorbidities.
Commissioners (such as NHS England, clinical commissioning groups and local authorities) ensure that adults who are identified as overweight or obese and who have comorbidities are offered a referral to a locally commissioned lifestyle weight management programme and that there is sufficient capacity to meet demand.

What the quality statement means for adults

Adults who are overweight or obese and have other conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, arthritis, heart disease or sleep apnoea are offered a referral to a local lifestyle weight management programme to help them improve their overall health.

Source guidance

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Adults who are overweight or obese
Adults are assessed to see if they are overweight or obese using their body mass index (BMI). The following table shows the cut-off points for a healthy weight or being overweight or obese.
Classification
BMI (kg/m2)
Healthy weight
18.5–24.9
Overweight
25.0–29.9
Obesity I
30.0–34.9
Obesity II
35.0–39.9
Obesity III
40.0 or more
BMI is a less accurate indicator in adults who are highly muscular, so it should be interpreted with caution in this group.
Waist circumference can also be used to assess whether someone is at risk of health problems because they are overweight or obese (up to a BMI of 35 kg/m2). For men, a waist circumference of less than 94 cm is low risk, 94–102 cm is high risk and more than 102 cm is very high risk. For women, a waist circumference of less than 80 cm is low risk, 80–88 cm is high risk and more than 88 cm is very high risk.
Using lower BMI thresholds to trigger action to reduce the risk of conditions such as type 2 diabetes has been recommended for adults of black African, African–Caribbean and Asian family origin. The lower thresholds are 23 kg/m2 to indicate increased risk and 27.5 kg/m2 to indicate high risk.
Adults with comorbidities
Adults with any other comorbidities in addition to being overweight or obese, such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis, dyslipidaemia and sleep apnoea.
[Adapted from Obesity: identification, assessment and management (2014) NICE guideline CG189]

Equality and diversity considerations

Healthcare professionals should take into account the cultural and communication needs of adults who are overweight or obese with comorbidities when making a referral to a lifestyle weight management programme.
Healthcare professionals should ensure that people of black African, African-Caribbean or Asian family origin are offered a referral to a lifestyle weight management programme if they have a BMI of 23 kg/m2 or more because of their increased health risk.
Providers of lifestyle weight management programmes should have an inclusive approach that encourages people from all backgrounds to participate. This includes using a respectful and non-judgemental approach. Particular attention should be given to engaging people who may be less likely to participate, such as people with learning difficulties or mental health problems and those from lower socioeconomic groups.
Providers of lifestyle weight management programmes should be able to meet the specific needs of women who are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or are trying to lose weight after pregnancy.

Preventing weight regain

This quality statement is taken from the obesity in adults: prevention and lifestyle weight management programmes quality standard. The quality standard defines clinical best practice in obesity prevention in adults and should be read in full.

Quality statement

Adults about to complete a lifestyle weight management programme agree a plan to prevent weight regain.

Rationale

It is important to ensure that adults who are about to complete a lifestyle weight management programme have a plan to help them maintain a healthy weight and avoid weight regain. This will enable them to self-manage their weight and make it less likely that they will need further lifestyle weight management interventions in the future.

Quality measures

Structure
Evidence of local arrangements to ensure that adults about to complete a lifestyle weight management programme agree a plan to prevent weight regain.
Data source: Local data collection.
Process
Proportion of adults completing a lifestyle weight management programme who agree a plan to prevent weight regain.
Numerator – the number in the denominator who agree a plan to prevent weight regain.
Denominator – the number of adults about to complete a lifestyle weight management programme.
Data source: Local data collection.
Outcome
a) Obesity prevalence.
Data source: Local data collection.
b) Prevalence of obesity-related comorbidities.
Data source: Local data collection.

What the quality statement means for service providers, healthcare professionals and commissioners

Service providers (providers of lifestyle weight management programmes) ensure that adults about to complete a lifestyle weight management programme agree a plan to prevent weight regain.
Healthcare professionals (such as GPs, dietitians and practice nurses) ensure that they make referrals to and promote lifestyle weight management programmes that include agreeing a plan to prevent weight regain on completion.
Commissioners (such as NHS England, clinical commissioning groups and local authorities) ensure that a plan to prevent weight regain is agreed with adults who are about to complete a lifestyle weight management programme. This could be provided by the lifestyle weight management programme provider or commissioned separately.

What the quality statement means for adults

Adults who are about to finish a lifestyle weight management programme agree a plan to help them avoid putting weight back on.

Source guidance

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Lifestyle weight management programmes
Lifestyle weight management programmes for overweight or obese adults are multicomponent programmes that aim to reduce a person’s energy intake and help them to be more physically active by changing their behaviour and working towards achievable goals. They should last for at least 3 months, with sessions that are offered at least weekly or fortnightly and include a ‘weigh-in’ at each session. They may include weight management programmes, courses or clubs that:
  • accept adults through self-referral or referral from a health or social care practitioner
  • are provided by the public, private or voluntary sector
  • are based in the community, workplaces, primary care or online.
Although local definitions vary, these are usually called tier 2 services and form part of a comprehensive approach to preventing and treating obesity.
[Adapted from Weight management: lifestyle services for overweight or obese adults (NICE guideline PH53) recommendation 9, glossary and expert opinion]
Plan to prevent weight regain
A plan to prevent weight regain should:
• encourage independence and self-management (including self-monitoring)
• identify a suitable weight target that is sustainable in the long term
• identify sources of ongoing support once the programme has ended, such as online resources, support groups, other local services or activities, and family and friends
• include goals to maintain new dietary habits and increased physical activity levels and strategies to overcome any difficulties encountered
• identify dietary habits that will support weight maintenance and are sustainable in the long term
• promote ways of being more physically active and less sedentary which are sustainable in the long term.
[Adapted from Weight management: lifestyle services for overweight or obese adults (NICE guideline PH53) recommendations 9 and 10]

Equality and diversity considerations

Providers of lifestyle weight management programmes should take into account the cultural and communication needs of people who are completing a lifestyle weight management programme when agreeing a plan to prevent weight regain.
Providers of lifestyle weight management programmes should have an inclusive approach that encourages people from all backgrounds to agree a plan to prevent weight regain. This includes using a respectful and non-judgemental approach. Particular attention should be given to engaging people with learning difficulties or mental health issues and those from lower socioeconomic groups.
Providers of lifestyle weight management programmes should be able to meet the specific needs of women who are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or are trying to lose weight after pregnancy when developing a plan to prevent weight regain.

Vending machines

This quality statement is taken from the obesity prevention and lifestyle weight management in children and young people quality standard. The quality standard defines clinical best practice in obesity prevention and lifestyle weight management in children and young people and should be read in full.

Quality statement

Children and young people, and their parents or carers, using vending machines in local authority and NHS venues can buy healthy food and drink options.

Rationale

The environment in which people live influences their ability to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Local authorities and NHS organisations can set an example by providing healthy food and drink choices at their venues. They can influence venues in the community (such as leisure centres) and services provided by commercial organisations to have a positive impact on the diet of children and young people using them. Legal requirements govern the provision of food in local authority-maintained schools (see the Department of Education’s Standards for school food in England for further details). Schools are therefore not covered by this quality statement.

Quality measures

Structure
Evidence that local authorities and NHS organisations provide, or make contractual arrangements for the provision of, healthy food and drink options in any vending machines in their venues that are used by children and young people.
Data source: Local data collection.
Process
Proportion of local authority and NHS venues used by children and young people with vending machines that have vending machines that contain healthy food and drink options.
Numerator – the number in the denominator that have vending machines that contain healthy food and drink options.
Denominator – the number of local authority and NHS venues used by children and young people with vending machines.
Data source: Local data collection.

What the quality statement means for local authorities and NHS organisations

Local authorities and NHS organisations ensure that any vending machines in their venues that are used by children and young people offer healthy food and drink options.

What the quality statement means for children and young people and their parents or carers

Children and young people (and their parents or carers) have a choice of healthy food and drink options available from vending machines in local authority and NHS venues (for example hospitals, clinics and leisure centres).

Source guidance

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Healthy food and drink
Food and drink that helps people to meet the eatwell plate guidance recommendations, and which does not contain high levels of salt, fat, saturated fat or sugar. Public Health England’s Healthier, more sustainable catering: information for those involved in purchasing food and drink provides definitions for low, medium and high levels of fat, saturates, sugars and salt per portion/serving size for food and drink. The Change4Life website gives suggestions for healthy food and drink alternatives. [Expert consensus]

Nutritional information at the point of choosing food and drink options

This quality statement is taken from the obesity: prevention and lifestyle weight management in children and young people quality standard. The quality standard defines clinical best practice in obesity prevention and lifestyle weight management in children and young people and should be read in full.

Quality statement

Children and young people, and their parents or carers, see details of nutritional information on menus at local authority and NHS venues.

Rationale

Providing details about the nutritional content of food will allow children and young people (and their parents or carers) to make an informed choice when choosing meals. This information will help people achieve or maintain a healthy weight by enabling them to manage their daily nutritional intake.

Quality measures

Structure
Evidence that local authorities and NHS organisations ensure that information on the nutritional content of meals is included on menus at venues that are used by children and young people.
Data source: Local data collection.

What the quality statement means for local authorities and NHS organisations

Local authorities and NHS organisations ensure that their venues used by children and young people provide details about the nutritional content of menu items.

What the quality statement means for children and young people and their parents or carers

Children and young people (and their parents or carers) selecting meals in catering facilities in local authority and NHS venues have information on the nutritional content of meals to help them choose.

Source guidance

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Nutritional information
This includes details on the calorie content of meals as well as information on the fat, saturated fat, salt and sugar content. If the nutritional value of recipes is not known, ingredients should be listed and cooking methods described. [Adapted from expert consensus and NICE guideline PH35, recommendation 8]

Equality and diversity considerations

Information needs to be available in a variety of languages and formats to ensure that it is accessible to people of all ages and meets the needs of the community. Nutritional information should be available in a variety of formats appropriate to the target audience. The format of this information should be suitable for children and young people with sensory impairment.

Prominent placement of healthy options

This quality statement is taken from the obesity: prevention and lifestyle weight management in children and young people quality standard. The quality standard defines clinical best practice in obesity prevention and lifestyle weight management in children and young people and should be read in full.

Quality statement

Children and young people, and their parents or carers, see healthy food and drink choices displayed prominently in local authority and NHS venues.

Rationale

Local authorities and NHS organisations can set an example by ensuring that healthy food and drink choices are promoted in their venues. Prominent positioning will help to ensure that children and young people (and their parents or carers) will consider healthier options when they are choosing food and drink.

Quality measures

Structure
Evidence that local authority and NHS venues used by children and young people make arrangements to display healthy food and drink options in prominent positions.
Data source: Local data collection.
Outcome
Sales of healthy food and drink options.
Data source: Local data collection.

What the quality statement means for local authorities and NHS organisations

Local authorities and NHS organisations ensure that healthy food and drink choices are displayed in prominent positions in their venues.

What the quality statement means for children and young people and their parents or carers

Children and young people (and their parents or carers) can easily find healthy foods and drinks when using catering facilities in local authority or NHS venues.

Source guidance

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Healthy food and drink choices
Food and drink that helps people to meet the eatwell plate guidance recommendations, and which does not contain high levels of salt, fat, saturated fat or sugar. Public Health England’s Healthier, more sustainable catering: information for those involved in purchasing food and drink provides definitions for low, medium and high levels of fat, saturates, sugars and salt per portion/serving size for food and drink. The Change4Life website gives suggestions for healthy food and drink alternatives. [Expert consensus] 

Maintaining details of local lifestyle weight management programmes

This quality statement is taken from the obesity: prevention and lifestyle weight management in children and young people quality standard. The quality standard defines clinical best practice in obesity prevention and lifestyle weight management in children and young people and should be read in full.

Quality statement

Children and young people, and their parents or carers, have access to a publicly available up to date list of local lifestyle weight management programmes.

Rationale

Effective lifestyle weight management programmes for children and young people can be delivered by a range of organisations, in different locations, covering different age groups. The local authority should maintain an up-to-date list of local lifestyle weight management programmes and make it available to the public. Raising awareness of these locally provided programmes is important to ensure that the public, healthcare professionals and other professionals who work with children and young people are aware of the programmes that exist in their area and how to access them. Increased public awareness may lead to more self referrals to the programmes, either by children and young people themselves or their parents or carers. In addition, raised awareness among healthcare professionals such as GPs, school nurses, health visitors and staff involved in the National Child Measurement Programme and the Healthy Child Programme may lead to more direct referrals.

Quality measures

Structure
Evidence that an up to date list of local lifestyle weight management programmes for children and young people is made publically available by the local authority.
Data source: Local data collection.
Outcome
Number of referrals (including self referrals, by children and young people or their parents or carers) to lifestyle weight management programmes.
Data source: Local data collection.

What the quality statement means for providers of lifestyle weight management programmes, healthcare professionals, other professionals who work with children and young people, and local authorities

Providers of lifestyle weight management programmes ensure that they provide local authorities with up to date lists of local lifestyle weight management programmes for children and young people.
Healthcare professionals (such as GPs, dietitians, pharmacists, health visitors, school nurses and staff involved in the National Child Measurement Programme) and other professionals who work with children and young people (such as youth workers, social workers and pastoral care workers, and those who work in schools, colleges, early years organisations, children’s centres and looked-after children’s teams) ensure that they are aware of the lifestyle weight management programmes for children and young people in their area and how to enrol people on them.
Local authorities ensure that they maintain a publicly available up-to-date list of local lifestyle weight management programmes for children and young people.

What the quality statement means for children and young people and their parents or carers

Children and young people (and their parents or carers) are aware of the lifestyle weight management programmes in their area and how they can enrol on them.

Source guidance

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Lifestyle weight management programme
Lifestyle weight management programmes focus on diet, physical activity and behaviour change to help people who are overweight or obese. They are usually based in the community and may be run by the public, private or voluntary sector. [Adapted from NICE guideline PH47]

Raising awareness of lifestyle weight management programmes

This quality statement is taken from the obesity: prevention and lifestyle weight management in children and young people quality standard. The quality standard defines clinical best practice in obesity prevention and lifestyle weight management in children and young people and should be read in full.

Quality statement

Children and young people identified as being overweight or obese, and their parents or carers as appropriate, are given information about local lifestyle weight management programmes.

Rationale

Actively raising the possibility of participation in a local lifestyle weight management programme will help to increase the use of these programmes by children and young people identified as being overweight or obese.

Quality measures

Structure
Evidence of written protocols and local arrangements for healthcare professionals and other professionals to give information about local lifestyle weight management programmes to children and young people identified as being overweight or obese, and their parents or carers (as appropriate).
Data source: Local data collection.
Process
Proportion of children and young people identified as being overweight or obese, and their parents or carers as appropriate, who are given information about local lifestyle weight management programmes.
Numerator – the number in the denominator who are given information about local lifestyle weight management programmes.
Denominator – the number of children and young people identified as being overweight or obese, and their parents or carers as appropriate.
Data source: Local data collection.
Outcome
Number of children and young people enrolling in lifestyle weight management programmes.
Data source: Local data collection.

What the quality statement means for healthcare professionals, other professionals who work with children and young people, and commissioners

Healthcare professionals (such as GPs, dietitians, pharmacists, health visitors, school nurses and staff involved in the National Child Measurement Programme) and other professionals who work with children and young people (such as youth workers, social workers and pastoral care workers, and those who work in schools, colleges, early years organisations, children’s centres and looked after children’s teams) ensure that they provide information about local lifestyle weight management programmes to children and young people identified as being overweight or obese, and their parents or carers (as appropriate).
Commissioners (such as NHS England, clinical commissioning groups and local authorities) ensure that healthcare professionals, and other professionals who work with children and young people, provide information about local lifestyle weight management programmes to children and young people identified as being overweight or obese, and their parents or carers (as appropriate).

What the quality statement means for children and young people and their parents or carers

Children and young people identified as being overweight or obese (and their parents or carers, as appropriate) are given information about local lifestyle weight management programmes, including an explanation of what the programmes involve and how to take part.

Source guidance

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Information about local lifestyle weight management programmes
This information should explain what these programmes involve and how people can take part (including whether or not they can self refer). [Adapted from NICE guideline PH47, recommendation 7]
Lifestyle weight management programme
Lifestyle weight management programmes focus on diet, physical activity and behaviour change to help people who are overweight or obese. They are usually based in the community and may be run by the public, private or voluntary sector. [Adapted from NICE guideline PH47]
Other professionals who work with children and young people
These professionals include youth workers, social workers and pastoral care workers, as well as those who work in schools, colleges, early years organisations, children’s centres and looked after children’s teams. [NICE guideline PH47, recommendation 7] 

Family involvement in lifestyle weight management programmes

This quality statement is taken from the obesity: prevention and lifestyle weight management in children and young people quality standard. The quality standard defines clinical best practice in obesity prevention and lifestyle weight management in children and young people and should be read in full.

Quality statement

Family members or carers of children and young people are invited to attend lifestyle weight management programmes, regardless of their weight.

Rationale

Family members and carers have an important role and responsibility in influencing the environment in which children and young people live. Therefore, actively involving family members and carers in the programme is important to ensure that children and young people receive positive reinforcement and support away from the programme. Involving the family and carers is also likely to make the programme more successful, change behaviour and lifestyle choices and improve BMI over time in children and young people. It may also benefit family members because they may have the same genetic and/or lifestyle risk factors for weight.

Quality measures

Structure
Evidence that providers of lifestyle weight management programmes for children and young people invite family members or carers to attend, regardless of their weight.
Data source: Local data collection.
Process
Proportion of children and young people who attend a lifestyle weight management programme whose family members or carers have been invited to attend.
Numerator – the number in the denominator whose family members or carers have been invited to attend.
Denominator – the number of children and young people who attend a lifestyle weight management programme.
Data source: Local data collection.

Outcome

Family member attendance and involvement in lifestyle weight management programmes.
Data source: Local data collection.

What the quality statement means for providers of lifestyle weight management programmes, healthcare professionals and public health practitioners, and local authorities

Providers of lifestyle weight management programmes for children and young people ensure that they involve family members and carers in the programme and provide services that include the appropriate core components. Weight management programmes should emphasise the importance, and highlight the benefit, of family member involvement and encouragement.
Healthcare professionals and public health practitioners who deliver lifestyle weight management programmes for children and young people encourage the involvement of family members or carers.
Local authorities ensure that they commission lifestyle weight management programmes for children and young people that encourage family members and carers to be actively involved and contain the core components to involve family members. Local authorities require providers to report on how they have engaged family members and carers in the programme as part of their performance management and contract monitoring.

What the quality statement means for families or carers

Family members or carers of children and young people identified as being overweight or obese are encouraged to be involved in the child’s lifestyle weight management programme, regardless of their own weight. This may include receiving training and resources to support changes in behaviour or, if this is not possible, being provided with information on the aims of the programme. Family members are also encouraged to eat healthily and to be physically active, regardless of their weight.

Source guidance

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Lifestyle weight management programme
Lifestyle weight management programmes focus on diet, physical activity and behaviour change to help people who are overweight or obese. They are usually based in the community and may be run by the public, private or voluntary sector. [Adapted from NICE guideline PH47]

Equality and diversity considerations

Particular consideration needs to be given when engaging adult men in the programmes because they are often harder to involve than other family members. Consideration also needs to be given to the language needs of the child or young person accessing the programme, as well as their family members or carers. For some families, the child or young person may be the only English speaker in the family.

Evaluating lifestyle weight management programmes

This quality statement is taken from the obesity: prevention and lifestyle weight management in children and young people quality standard. The quality standard defines clinical best practice in obesity prevention and lifestyle weight management in children and young people and should be read in full.

Quality statement

Children and young people, and their parents or carers, can access data on attendance, outcomes and the views of participants and staff from lifestyle weight management programmes.

Rationale

It’s important that providers of lifestyle weight management programmes for children and young people measure outcomes of the programmes and make the results available. This will allow commissioners and the general public to monitor and evaluate particular programmes to assess whether they are meeting their objectives and providing value for money. This ensures that any issues with the programmes are identified as early as possible, so that the programmes can be improved, leading to better outcomes for children and young people using the programmes. It will also help children and young people, and their parents or carers, to select lifestyle weight management programmes.

Quality measures

Structure
a) Evidence that commissioners and providers of lifestyle weight management programmes for children and young people jointly agree the key performance indicators to be collected for monitoring and evaluation.
Data source: Local data collection.
b) Evidence that commissioners and providers of lifestyle weight management programmes for children and young people have used data from monitoring and evaluation to amend and improve programmes.
Data source: Local data collection.
Process
a) Proportion of children and young people recruited to a lifestyle weight management programme that has data on attendance, outcomes and the views of participants and staff collected at recruitment and completion.
Numerator – the number in the denominator that has data on attendance, outcomes and the views of participants and staff collected at recruitment and completion.
Denominator – the number of children and young people recruited to a lifestyle weight management programme.
Data source: Local data collection.
b) Proportion of children and young people who complete a lifestyle weight management programme that has data on outcomes collected at 6 months after completion of the programme.
Numerator – the number in the denominator that has data on outcomes collected at 6 months after completion of the programme.
Denominator – the number of children and young people who complete a lifestyle weight management programme.
Data source: Local data collection.
c) Proportion of children and young people who complete a lifestyle weight management programme that has data on outcomes collected at 1 year after completion of the programme.
Numerator – the number in the denominator that has data on outcomes collected at 1 year after completion of the programme.
Denominator – the number of children and young people who complete a lifestyle weight management programme.
Data source: Local data collection.

What the quality statement means for providers of lifestyle weight management programmes and commissioners

Providers of lifestyle weight management programmes for children and young people ensure that they collect and report data to monitor and evaluate the programme.
Commissioners (including directors of public health, public health teams, local authority commissioners and clinical commissioning groups) ensure that sufficient resources are dedicated to monitoring and evaluation, that they evaluate lifestyle weight management programmes for children and young people using data on outcomes, and use the data to amend and improve the programme.

What the quality statement means for children and young people and their parents or carers

Children and young people (and their parents or carers) attend lifestyle weight management programmes that are regularly monitored and evaluated so that the programmes can be improved.

Source guidance

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Data on attendance, outcomes and the views of participants and staff
The data to be collected include:
  • Numbers recruited, percentage completing the programme and percentage followed up at 6 months and at 1 year after completing the programme.
  • For all those recruited, BMI and BMI z score measured at:
    • recruitment
    • completion of the programme
    • 6 months after completing the programme
    • 1 year after completing the programme.
  • referral routes
  • outcomes related to the aim of the programme and related to factors that can support or contribute to a reduction in BMI, for example:
    • improvements in diet
    • improvements in physical activity
    • reduction in sedentary behaviour
    • improvements in self-esteem.
  • variations in outcomes, according to age, gender, ethnicity and socioeconomic status
  • views of participants (including children, young people and their families and/or carers who have participated in the programme, as well as those who did not complete the programme)
  • views of staff delivering the programme. [Adapted from (NICE guideline PH47, recommendations 2 and 15]
(See Public Health England’s Standard evaluation framework for weight management interventions for examples of other possible outcome measures.)

Lifestyle weight management programme

Lifestyle weight management programmes focus on diet, physical activity and behaviour change to help people who are overweight or obese. They are usually based in the community and may be run by the public, private or voluntary sector. [Adapted from NICE guideline PH47]

Equality and diversity considerations

When monitoring and evaluating lifestyle weight management programmes, information also needs to be captured to ensure that the programmes are suitable for minority groups, for example, by family origin, religion and disability, and that reasonable adaptations are being made to the programmes to make them accessible to these groups and to assess their impact on health inequalities.

Reducing sedentary behaviour: placeholder statement

This quality statement is taken from the obesity: prevention and lifestyle weight management in children and young people quality standard. The quality standard defines clinical best practice in obesity prevention and lifestyle weight management in children and young people and should be read in full.

What is a placeholder statement?

A placeholder statement is an area of care that has been prioritised by the Quality Standards Advisory Committee but for which no source guidance is currently available. A placeholder statement indicates the need for evidence based guidance to be developed in this area.

Rationale

Decreasing the levels of sedentary behaviour in children and young people is a different issue to increasing physical activity in this group, as noted in Start active, stay active: a report on physical activity from the four home countries' Chief Medical Officers. There is a need to specify interventions and actions that can be carried out to achieve a reduction in sedentary behaviour in children and young people and also methods that can be used to easily and successfully measure sedentary activity.

Effective interventions library

Effective interventions library

Successful effective interventions library details

Implementation

Education and learning

NICE produces resources for individual practitioners, teams and those with a role in education to help improve and assess users' knowledge of relevant NICE guidance and its application in practice.

Information for the public

NICE produces information for the public that summarises, in plain English, the recommendations that NICE makes to healthcare and other professionals.
NICE has written information for the public explaining its guidance on each of the following topics.

Pathway information

Guiding principles

The recommendations should be undertaken in parallel, wherever possible as part of a system-wide approach to preventing obesity. Ideally, to be as cost effective as possible, they should be implemented as part of integrated programmes that address the whole population, but with a scale and intensity that is proportionate to addressing locally identified inequalities in obesity and associated diseases and conditions.
The guidance provides a framework for existing NICE guidance (community based or individual interventions) that directly or indirectly impacts on obesity prevention or management.
Other NICE guidance can also be used to ensure effective delivery of the recommendations made in this guidance (see community engagement, behaviour change and cultural appropriateness below).

Community engagement

The prerequisites for effective community engagement are covered in NICE's pathway on community engagement. These include:
  • coordinated implementation of the relevant policy initiatives
  • a commitment to long-term investment
  • openness to organisational and cultural change
  • a willingness to share 'power', as appropriate, between statutory and community organisations
  • the development of trust and respect among all those involved.
The guidance states that the following should also be in place to ensure effective local practice:
  • support to ensure those working with the community – including members of that community – receive appropriate training and development opportunities
  • formal mechanisms that endorse partnership working
  • support for effective implementation of area-based initiatives.

Behaviour change

The prerequisites for effective interventions and programmes aimed at changing behaviour are covered in NICE's pathway on behaviour change. In summary, NICE recommends that interventions and programmes should be based on:
  • careful planning, taking into account the local and national context and working in partnership with recipients
  • a sound knowledge of community needs
  • existing skills and resources, by identifying and building on the strengths of individuals and communities and the relationships within communities.
In addition, interventions and programmes should be evaluated, either locally or as part of a larger project, and practitioners should be equipped with the necessary competencies and skills to support behaviour change. This includes knowing how to use evidence-based tools. (NICE recommends that courses for practitioners should be based on theoretically informed, evidence-based best practice.)

Cultural appropriateness

The prerequisites for culturally appropriate action are outlined in the preventing type 2 diabetes pathway. The guidance emphasises that culturally appropriate action takes account of the community's cultural or religious beliefs and language and literacy skills by:
  • Using community resources to improve awareness of, and increase access to, interventions. For example, they involve community organisations and leaders early on in the development stage, use media, plan events or make use of festivals specific to black and minority ethnic groups.
  • Understanding the target community and the messages that resonate with them.
  • Identifying and addressing barriers to access and participation, for example, by keeping costs low to ensure affordability, and by taking account of different working patterns and education levels.
  • Developing communication strategies that are sensitive to language use and information requirements. For example, they involve staff who can speak the languages used by the community. In addition, they may provide information in different languages and for varying levels of literacy (for example, by using colour-coded visual aids and the spoken rather than the written word).
  • Taking account of cultural or religious values, for example, the need for separate physical activity sessions for men and women, or in relation to body image, or beliefs and practices about hospitality and food. They also take account of religious and cultural practices that may mean certain times of the year, days of the week, settings, or timings are not suitable for community events or interventions. In addition, they provide opportunities to discuss how interventions would work in the context of people's lives.
  • Considering how closely aligned people are to their ethnic group or religion and whether they are exposed to influences from both the mainstream and their community in relation to diet and physical activity.

Supporting information

Glossary

A process by which someone performs an activity and then analyses their actions and gains feedback to improve future performance.
Body mass index (BMI) is commonly used to indicate whether adults are a healthy weight or underweight, overweight or obese. It is defined as the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in metres (kg/m2).
Bottom-up activities or approaches are initiated by the community, or people working directly with the community, rather than being introduced by senior management.
Actions or interventions that improve the ability of an individual, an organisation or a community to identify and address health or other issues on a sustainable basis, for example through skills development, improved networking and communication or shared decision making.
A group of people who have common characteristics. Communities can be defined by location, race, ethnicity, age, occupation, a shared interest (such as using the same service), a shared belief (such as religion or faith) or other common bonds.
Local community refers to a group of people from the same geographic location that is not necessarily related to any official, administrative boundary. The community may be located in a ward, borough, region or city.
Community health champions are local people who are recruited and trained as volunteers to 'champion' the health priorities and need of their communities.
Community development is about building active and sustainable communities based on social justice, mutual respect, participation, equality, learning and cooperation. It involves changing power structures to remove the barriers that prevent people from participating in the issues that affect their lives.
The process of getting communities involved in decisions that affect them. This includes the planning, development and management of services, as well as activities that aim to improve health or reduce health inequalities (see Community engagement for health improvement: questions of definition, outcomes and evaluation - a background paper prepared for NICE by Professor Jenny Popay [2006]).
For this guidance, co-production means developing and delivering action on obesity in an equal and reciprocal relationship between professionals, the local community, people using local services and their families.
Joint strategic needs assessments (JSNAs) identify the current and future health needs of a local population. They are used as the basis for the priorities and targets set by local areas, expressed in local health and wellbeing strategies. They are also used for commissioning to improve health outcomes and reduce health inequalities.
The local system comprises a broad set of interrelated organisations, community services and networks operating at a range of levels and involving a number of delivery processes.
Body mass index is used to asses if adults are overweight or obese. The following table shows the cut-off points for healthy weight, overweight and obesity.
Classification
BMI (kg/m2)
Healthy weight
18.5–24.9
Overweight
25–29.9
Obesity I
30–34.9
Obesity II
35–39.9
Obesity III
40 or more
BMI is a less accurate indicator of adiposity in adults who are highly muscular, so BMI should be interpreted with caution in this group. Some other population groups, such as Asians and older people, have comorbidity risk factors that would be of concern at different BMIs (lower for Asian adults and higher for older people). Healthcare professionals should use clinical judgement when considering risk factors in these groups, even in people not classified as overweight or obese using the classification in the table.
Assessment of the health risks of being overweight or obese can also be based on waist circumference. For men, waist circumference of less than 94 cm is low, 94–102 cm is high and more than 102 cm is very high. For women, waist circumference of less than 80 cm is low risk, 80–88 cm is high and more than 88 cm is very high.
More than one classification system is used in the UK to define children as 'overweight' or 'obese'. The National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) for primary care states that body mass index (BMI) should be plotted onto a gender-specific BMI chart for children (UK 1990 chart for children aged over 4 years). Children over the 85th centile, and on or below the 95th centile, are categorised as 'overweight'. Children over the 95th centile are classified as 'obese'. Other surveys, such as the Health Survey for England also use this system. In clinical practice, however, the 91st and 98th centiles may be used to define 'overweight' and 'obesity' respectively. Children on or above the 98th centile may also be described as very overweight.
For the purpose of this guidance, a partner is a local department, service, organisation, network, community group or individual that could help prevent obesity.
Top-down activities or approaches are where an activity is initiated from a senior level in an organisation and cascaded down to those working directly with the local community.
Two-tier counties in England consist of an 'upper-tier' county council and various 'lower-tier' city, borough and district councils.
The social determinants of health are the circumstances in which people are born, grow up, live, work, and age, as well as the systems put in place to deal with illness. These circumstances are in turn shaped by a wider set of forces: economics, social and political forces.

Paths in this pathway

Pathway created: November 2012 Last updated: January 2016

© NICE 2016

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