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Weight management: providing strategies and advice

Alison Coutts First published: Last updated:


Almost two-thirds of British adults are on a weight-loss diet ‘most of the time’ (Moss, 2016). Despite this, 64% of adults in England are overweight and 25.9% are obese (UK Parliament, 2023). Despite decades of research, strategies to tackle obesity have often been unsuccessful (Eichorn and Jevert-Eichorn, 2021). Many nurses feel under-prepared when it comes to advising people on weight management (Keyworth et al, 2013). Additionally, negative stereotypes and stigmatising of people with obesity by healthcare professionals remains prevalent (Phelan et al, 2015), adding to people’s anxiety and tendency to avoid using healthcare services.

Measurements for overweight and obesity

Nurses should seek permission from the patient about whether they wish to discuss their weight in the first place.

Nurses must identify whether the patient needs to lose weight (ie whether their health would benefit from weight loss). Many people wish to lose weight for aesthetic rather than health-related reasons,

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Alison Coutts