New weight loss support to be found on the high street

People struggling to lose weight will now be offered help from their local high street pharmacy as part of the NHS’s radical action to tackle rising obesity levels and type 2 diabetes.

NHS England has said that community pharmacy teams can now refer adults living with obesity, and other conditions, to the twelve-week online NHS weight management programme. People will be able to start the programme within 10 days of visiting their local pharmacy, with support for some people including one-to-one coaching from a weight loss expert.

GPs have already referred over 50,000 adults living with obesity at risk of developing weight-related conditions. Diabetes is estimated to cost the NHS £10 billion a year, with almost one in 20 GP prescriptions for a diabetes treatment.

Three in five adults in England are overweight, with more than one in four living with obesity. Recent research found that people seeking NHS help to lose weight during the pandemic were on average five pounds heavier than those doing so during the previous three years.

Dr Bruce Warner, Deputy Chief Pharmaceutical Officer at NHS England, said: “Obesity is a significant threat to the nation’s health – it increases your chance of dying from Covid and puts you at greater risk of stroke, cancer and other deadly disease. The NHS’s radical action plan means it is now easier for people to take control of their health – adults with obesity can now walk into any high street community pharmacy to take the first step on a life-changing weight loss journey.”

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