Intended for healthcare professionals


Small falls in weight can improve health provided they are long term, says NICE

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 28 May 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g3576
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

Weight loss programmes that focus on diet, activity, and lifestyle are cost effective even if the weight loss is small, so long as the improvement is maintained for the rest of life, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has concluded.1

In new guidance on lifestyle weight management programmes, NICE says that £100 (€123; $170) spent on putting an individual through a 12 week course is cost effective if at least 1 kg of weight is lost and if this achieves a permanent change in the person’s weight trajectory—that is, for the rest of that person’s life, his or her weight is 1 kg less than it otherwise would have been. For programmes costing £500 per head to be cost effective, the weight loss must be 2 kg; for £1000 programmes, 3 kg. …

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