Local GP Backs Free Weight Management for Adults

Dr Smyth of Broadway Medical Centre with Grace Rushton

GPs, health professionals and other service providers in Wyre, Fylde and North Lancashire can now refer adults with a body mass index of 25 or over for free weight management support. And in the joint fight to tackle obesity, residents can also refer themselves for a place on the programme too.

The new Y:Weight programme, funded by Lancashire County Council and delivered by YMCA in community venues across the boroughs, is specially designed to help adults lose weight and provide them with the advice and guidance to go on and manage their weight for life.

Y:Weight is based on the nationally recognised and clinically approved Momenta Weight Management Programme. All participants receive a starter kit and in just 12 weekly group sessions learn about making small manageable changes in their lives which lead to healthy weight loss and overall improvements to health and wellbeing. Following the 12 weeks longer term support is also provided through monthly maintenance sessions.

According to the National Obesity Forum 1 in 4 adults are now considered obese. Obesity is the second most common preventable cause of death after smoking and is responsible for over 9,000 premature deaths in England each year.

From this month and alongside the existing exercise on referral schemes, GPs and health professionals will be referring adults with a body mass index of 25 or over onto YMCA’s Y:Weight programme for free.

Dr Robert Smyth of Broadway Medical Centre in Fleetwood (pictured with Grace Rushton, Y:Weight Co-ordinator) has been referring patients to YMCA’s Exercise on Referral scheme for the last 7 years. He is fully supportive of the new programme and said: “Obesity is a significant challenge facing the NHS. If we can manage overweight and obesity early, this will help reduce future problems such as diabetes, heart disease and joint problems.

He added: “Y:Weight offers healthcare professionals the opportunity to refer patients at a much earlier stage and before significant problems, caused by gaining weight and being overweight, become established.”

During this week’s National Obesity Week the Y:Weight team are launching the programme tool kit through local GP Practices, Health Centres and other community venues. Adults can also calculate their body mass index number online, using their height and weight, and can also register themselves on the programme all via www.yweight.co.uk

Grace Rushton, Y:Weight Co-ordinator for Wyre and Fylde said: “This is an exciting opportunity for local adults to join a non-commercial and completely free programme that has been created with long term health in mind. The 12 week programme looks at all aspects of life and offers a local social support network too with programmes held in recognised community venues.”

Following his initial GP referral onto the exercise referral scheme last February, Andrew Noble, 48 of St Annes signed himself up to the Momenta based programme and completed his 12 weeks in December. He said: “What’s great is that it isn’t a diet. The programme has completely changed my relationship with food. I dropped on average 1kg per week by learning how I’m also more active now and can honestly say the whole experience has changed my life for the better.”

Y:Weight programmes are commencing from 26th January in Fleetwood, Cleveleys, Preesall, Freckleton, Kirkham and St Annes. For more information visit www.yweight.co.uk

Read Andrew Noble’s full story here.

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