Slimming World committed to promote the Chief Medical Officer’s (CMO) revised physical activity guidelines to its staff, 3,500 Slimming World Consultants who run 10,000 local community weight loss groups, reaching over 1 million members per year.
Slimming World recognised the Responsibility Deal as being a valuable platform for working across the both the private and public sectors to help tackle obesity, a major public health problem.
As part of our weight loss programme, Slimming World promotes physical activity as an essential part of a healthy lifestyle and as being key to the success of maintaining weight loss, and provides support to facilitate behaviour change towards a more active lifestyle (via our physical activity programme, Body Magic). We undertook to incorporate the revised CMO guidelines into our existing programme.
We also set out to raise awareness among our members who attend Slimming World groups and Slimming World Online and also to non-members who we reach via Slimming World magazine, the top selling glossy magazine in the UK with a circulation of 447,456. We continue to promote the Chief Medical Officer’s physical activity guidelines in all new materials developed for staff, consultants and members.
Slimming World updated and reissued its member physical activity booklet to include information relating to the revised guidelines and practical advice on how to take a step by step approach to build up to the recommended activity levels. This has been distributed to all group members since January 2012 and reaches over 1 million members per year.
Similarly, we updated our activity booklet given to adolescents to include the recommendations for this age group, which is provided to around 15,000 young members a year. We also have an award system to recognise members’ achievements and commitment to time spent being active as they build up to the CMO activity recommendations and regular activity becomes a lifestyle habit. At that point members receive a ‘Platinum Body Magic Award’.
The guidelines are also promoted to Slimming World members through our online support programme and to online members. Members are also praised and inspired to become more active and take part in Body Magic via our social media channels such as Facebook (225,000 fans) and Twitter (47,000 followers).
From late 2012, we have also been updating and further developing training materials for our 3,500 weight management group Consultants so that they understand the new guidelines and incorporate them into our weekly programme to support, inspire and motivate our members to increase their activity levels. Alongside training sessions, a new training manual was distributed to the group Consultants in April 2013. Information on the current activity recommendations is also included on the Slimming World member website.
At Slimming World we’re passionate about helping people to change their lives to be healthier and happier for the long term. We understand the importance of helping members to learn how to be compassionate to themselves and, with the support of the group, to understand their own emotional and psychological triggers to making unhealthy choices. Becoming more active has an important part to play in improving health and helping to boost self-esteem and confidence as well as being hugely beneficial to weight loss maintenance. Through our Body Magic programme we actively promote and support members to take the first steps to becoming physically active by doing anything from walking, cycling, dancing, gardening or ice-skating or roller-skating.
Since 2011 we’ve supported 84,163 to start out being a little more active and have helped 13,468 people to achieve the Platinum Body Magic award which recognises that being regularly active for 150 minutes each week has become the habit of a lifetime. In 2011 we supported 60,349 people to take part in our Body Magic programme, in 2012 we supported 72, 484 people and in the first quarter of 2013 we supported 23,198 people. In total, since 2011 we have encouraged and supported 156,031 people to take up some level of activity.