Intended for healthcare professionals

CCBYNC Open access
Research

Comparison of range of commercial or primary care led weight reduction programmes with minimal intervention control for weight loss in obesity: Lighten Up randomised controlled trial

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d6500 (Published 03 November 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d6500

Re: Comparison of range of commercial or primary care led weight reduction programmes with minimal intervention control for weight loss in obesity: Lighten Up randomised controlled trial

As your editorial [1] observes, commercial slimming companies have invested significantly to develop their programmes so could be expected to be at least as effective as other approaches to weight loss. Though Lighten Up participants had their participation costs paid by the study, others using commercial slimming companies pay for themselves. That suggests that they are motivated to lose weight. And once they have paid, they have an interest in ensuring a positive outcome which in itself may make that outcome, sustained weight loss, more likely. Perhaps the key role for primary care in the management of obesity should be to provide patients with information that will motivate them to take action, whether with or without the support of the commercial slimming companies.

[1] BMJ 2011:343:d7188

Competing interests: No competing interests

19 November 2011
Timothy Heymann
Consultant Gastroenterologist and Reader in Health Management
Imperial College Business School
London SW3 2AZ