Weight Management

Weight Management

Weight management sessions can be individual or group based activities which aim to prevent and treat overweight and obesity through nutrition and physical activity.

Weight Management activities can be targeted at adults, children or families. They also include other professionals as part of the multidisciplinary team, such as clinical psychologists.

All Wales Obesity Pathway

The Pathway is a tool for Health Boards, working jointly with Local Authorities and other key stakeholders, to map local policies, services and activity for both children and adults against four tiers of intervention and to identify any gaps.

An accompanying letter from Minister for Health and Social Services, Edwina Hart AM describes that the results of the mapping exercise should then be used to determine where best to focus further effort, taking into account the wide range of determinants which cause obesity and overweight and the opportunities to intervene.

The Obesity Pathway has four tiers and describes minimum service requirements and best practice. The four tiers are:
Level 1: Community based prevention and early intervention (self care)
Level 2: Community and primary care weight management services
Level 3: Specialist multi disciplinary team weight management services
Level 4: Specialist medical and surgical services

Download the All Wales Obesity Pathway.

BIG Way of Life

Fourteen projects are benefiting from the £6,378,393 awarded under Big Lottery Fund’s (BIG) Way of Life (WOL) initiative, which aims to develop new and innovative ways of promoting healthy eating, activity and play.
WOL aims to combat childhood obesity by using three different models, which the successful projects will use to deliver the programme. These are the Healthy Friends, Healthy Places and Healthy Home Tutors models.

The Healthy Friends Model aims to increase healthy eating and physical activity by using older children as mentors for younger children. Adult mentors, parents, carers and guardians will support them. Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids Club (awarded £425,797) in Carmarthenshire, South West Wales and Torfaen County Borough Council in South East Wales are the organisations who will be piloting projects under this model.

The Healthy Home Tutors model aims to increase healthy eating and physical activity by delivering advice and support programmes for children and their families. Conwy County Borough Council in North Wales and the Bryncynon Community Revival Strategy Ltd in Abercynon, Rhondda Cynon Taff, are among the range of organisations delivering projects under this model.

The Healthy Places model aims to increase healthy eating and physical activity through engaging and interesting community activities and events. It places an increased emphasis on nutrition, physical activity and children’s play in target communities. The Ceredigion Local Health Board in Ceredigion and Denbighshire County Council in North Wales will deliver projects under this model by organising a range of healthy eating and exercise festivals in the community. For further information about the Big Lottery Fund and how your group can apply for funding, log onto the Big Lottery Fund website www.biglotteryfund.org.uk and use the ‘Wales’ specific search facility. Alternatively, you can telephone the Big Lottery Fund office on 01686 611 700.

Supporting self-help community weight management groups in Cwm Taf

Cwm Taf Public Health Team’s work to support self-help community weight management groups has recently been recognised as ‘Promising Practice’ through the Public Health Wales Good Practice Scheme.

Cwm Taf Public Health Team has established a number of self-help community weight management groups across both Rhondda Cynon Taf and Merthyr Tydfil following the expressed needs of communities for a low cost local alternative to commercial slimming groups. Led by community workers and volunteers, local groups provide members with an opportunity to learn about nutrition, participate in physical activity, and practice new recipes in a supportive environment. They aim to support group members to identify and make realistic lifestyle changes and manage their weight.

Denbighshire Fun with Food & Fitness Festivals Project

The main purpose of the Fun with Food & Fitness Festivals (FFFF) is to increase healthy eating and physical activity among children under 12 years old through a range of school based and community based festivals and activities and to provide baseline data to be utilised by the Health Social Care & Well Being (HSCWB) and Children & Young Peoples Partnership (CYPP). It is based upon the Big Lottery Fund’s Way of Life ‘Healthy Places’ model.

Through these activities the intention is to achieve an increased level of awareness in children and their families in the range of approaches to exercise, healthy eating and the links between the two. Further intention is that FFFF will involve joint delivery by various partners with the goal to increase the amount and quality of partnership working on healthy eating and physical activity outside the FFFF. The Festivals will target the whole county.

Community Festivals will aim to promote to children under 12 and their families healthy eating options, showcase local and affordable produce, and to provide educational and nutritional information about the food options on offer. They will showcase the local clubs and activities that children can be involved in plus other health related signposting and resource information.

Glyndwr University are a partner organisation and will deliver on the schools based data collection and fun fitness festivals that incorporate fitness testing.
Pupils under the age of 12 will be invited to participate in a series of fun fitness tests and complete a lifestyle questionnaire that will identify pupils’ physical activity and active play levels, dietary intake, dietary likes/dislikes and lifestyle choices. This data will be collated and analysed by a PHD student who will inform Denbighshire County Council and the partnership organisations of the statistical evidence found. FFFF aims to develop a baseline of information that can then be compared with data gathered at subsequent Festivals and distributed to appropriate the HSCWB &CYP Strategic Partnership Groups CYPP. This is also an opportunity for pupils to identify what they may like to see at the Community Festivals.

For more information contact Richard Griffin, F-Factor Project Manager, Denbighshire County Borough Countil on email griffin.richard@denbighshire.gov.uk.

Caerphilly F3 Fun, Food and Fitness Project

F3 is a healthy lifestyle programme for children, aged 5 to 11 who are overweight, and their families in Caerphilly.

F3 is funded by the Big Lottery Way of Life Programme and is based on the Healthy Home Tutor Model. It is a ten week programme consisting of one two hour group educational session per week, led by a Dietitian, Physical Activity Specialist and Behavioural Psychologist. The aim of the programme is to increase awareness of healthy eating and physical activity, and achieve positive changes in the attitude and behaviour of the children and their families. Each family will be assigned a home tutor who will support the family in their home for 10 weeks to put it all into practice and maintain contact with the family for a further 6 months.

The programme will run at 13 centres around Caerphilly borough and will include:

  • Learning that being active can be a lot of fun!
  • Practical demonstrations, games and advice about healthy foods, label reading, and portion sizes.
  • Fun, interactive sessions that will help improve the child’s self-confidence.

For more information please contact Sue Norey, F3 Project Co-ordinator, Caerphilly Teaching Local Health Board on 01495 241292 or email susan.norey@wales.nhs.uk.

MEND Programme

The Welsh Government is piloting the Mind, Exercise, Nutrition… Do It! or MEND weight management Programme in Wales.

The MEND programme is a community based pilot programme for overweight and obese children aged 7-13. It is part of the Welsh Governments Food and Fitness 5 year implementation plan for Promoting Healthy Eating and Physical Activity for Children and Young People in Wales.

This programme is a best practice community, family based programme for children between 7-13 and their families which uses a train the trainer approach. The multi-disciplinary programme places equal emphasis on healthy eating, physical activity and behavioural change, empowering the child, building self confidence and personal development.

Mini-Mend Programme to commence in Torfaen

In September Tofaen Flying Start are commencing a Mini-Mend Programme.

Mend is an acronym for Mind, Exercise, Nutrition…Do it! Mini-Mend has been developed by the experts in child health, that also established the Mend Programme for overweight children aged 7 -13. It is an early preventative intervention for parents or carers with children aged 2 to 4.

Mini-Mend offers a fun and creative environment for families to learn how to make healthier lifestyle choices and ensure their children have the best possible start in life, whatever their weight. Mini-MEND’s ten weekly sessions combine parent-toddler active play, parent discussion groups and children’s crèche-style creative play activities. They take place during the daytime at community venues.

The first group takes place in Trevethin, Pontypool and is being led by Dietician Claire Barber and Health Visitor Jenny Salter, with Community health Nursery Nurses and Sure Start Nursery Nurses also involved in the programme delivery.
For more information about Mini-Mend in Torfaen please contact Lorraine Childs, Health Co-ordinator for Sure Start/Flying Start at Cwmbran Integrated Childrens Centre on 01633 647420 or email Lorraine.Childs@wales.nhs.uk. For more information about the Mini-Mend and Mend programme visit www.mendprogramme.org.

Communities First Maerdy – wins Health Challenge Rhondda Cynon Taf Award

Maerdy Fat Club – Sensible Slimming, a community group promoting healthy eating and exercise in the Rhondda Fach has come out top in the Health Challenge RCT Crystal Awards.

The event, organised as part of the Council’s Health, Social Care and Wellbeing Partnership in conjunction with Health Challenge Wales, recognises the achievements of local groups and organisations throughout the County Borough.

Maerdy Fat Club – Sensible Slimming meets weekly and is run by Communities First Maerdy, it was established to educate local residents about healthy eating, nutrition, healthy cooking, budgeting for food and physical activity.

They received the coveted first prize of £1,000 at the awards ceremony, held in Coleg Morgannwg, Llwynypia, and were congratulated on their achievements for the second consecutive year.

Nicola John, Director of Public Health at Cwm Taf Health Board said: “This is an excellent example of a grass roots project that is making a huge contribution to health and well-being. I commend the work of the group and would like to see this approach replicated in other communities across Rhondda Cynon Taf,”

Established in March 2009, the Maerdy-based club is run by four volunteers who teach members about how to cook, what healthy activities would suit their physical needs

The community members identified a need for this group when struggling to sustain a healthy diet, lose weight and feel better about themselves. The individuals all wanted to have peer support and information, but found the costs associated with Privatized Slimming Clubs, impractical to sustain in the current climate.

Some members have undertaken Food Hygiene courses and are able to lead on cookery demonstrations as losing weight is no longer the main goal as they are committed to following a healthier lifestyle.

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care & Wellbeing Cllr Mike Forey explained: “The awards celebrate those community projects and activities that contribute to the delivery of health improvement.

“Making those positive developments in community health is the joint responsibility of individuals, communities, Cwm Taf Local Health Board and Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, working together to achieve between health outcomes for citizens.

”As well as recognizing projects which help towards an improved healthier lifestyle, the awards also celebrate the sustainable process for involving and engaging communities such as volunteering.

“Congratulations to all those who were nominated for the awards and the winner and runners-up for achieving such an excellent standard.”

The second prize of £500 was awarded to Tonyrefail Food Co-operative which is based in Capel Farm. A third prize of £250 was presented to Dragon Savers for their newly established Credit Union in Perthcelyn.