Fit for Life tackling adult obesity health challenges in Tower Hamlets

Image of people exercising tackling adult obesity

The adult weight management service is funded by Tower Hamlets Public Health and is available on referral from a health care professional.  It focuses on tackling long term health conditions associated with adult obesity, including type 2 diabetes.   With one of the highest prescribing rates in the UK for the condition, it is expected the scheme’s broad approach to addressing adult weight issues will be modelled in other areas across the capital and beyond.

Somen Banerjee, Director Public Health in Tower Hamlets comments: “Tower Hamlets is committed to reducing levels of long-term health conditions in the local population. Supporting people to achieve and maintain a healthy weight as part of their everyday lives is a key component of our ambition to achieve better health and wellbeing for all”.

Available to those over 18 who are classified as obese (a Body Mass Index over 30 or 27.5 for South Asian patients), the service is provided by qualified health practitioners. Specialist services are available for people with disabilities and for those who are severely obese (a Body Mass Index over 40).

Motivational support is provided by dieticians, nutritionists, physiotherapists, psychology experts and exercise specialists. The programme helps patients manage their weight and increase physical activity. Participants are supported to develop healthier behaviours that address long term health conditions associated with obesity including coronary heart disease and diabetes.

An initial 12 week programme includes a one-to-one assessment and a patient-led, goal-setting process. A variety of classes, learning opportunities and activities are offered free of charge to help achieve aims, build social networks, encourage peer support and link people with local community services for sustainable weight-loss. The service incorporates maintenance and support for up to one year.

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