Family Affair: a tailored programme for adolescents

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Family Affair: a tailored  programme for adolescents

With the support of their family GP or nurse, Slimming World offers free membership to 11 to 15 year olds as long as they attend group along with their parent/guardian or family member who has main responsibility for their meals/eating habits at home. We have developed specific guidelines to support our young members:Free2go

  • All young members are provided with age specific literature:
    • ‘Free2Go – a guide for you and your GP’ which is for use between the group Consultant, the young member and the young member’s health care team. This booklet allows the health care professional to give consent for the young member to manage their weight with Slimming World, to monitor their progress regularly and provide on-going recommendations regarding any weight change goals.
    • ‘Free2Go’ which is an eating plan and activity booklet. This plan has been specifically tailored for our young members ensuring they have a flexible, balanced diet and plenty of encouragement to become more active.
  • Consent to attend Slimming World is obtained for all young members, from one of their health care team (eg nurse or GP).
  • Once consent has been received, the latter pages of ‘Free2Go – a guide for you and your GP’ are filled in by the doctor/nurse including:
    • the young member’s age-adjusted-BMI, which can be plotted on the sex specific BMI centile charts provided
    • the health professional’s weight management recommendations for the first three months of following the plan.
    Free2go
  • Consent to attend Slimming World is obtained for all young members, from one of their health care team (eg nurse or GP).
  • Once consent has been received, the latter pages of 'Free2Go – a guide for you and your GP' are filled in by the doctor/nurse including:
    • the young member’s age-adjusted-BMI, which can be plotted on the sex specific BMI centile charts provided
    • the health professional’s weight management recommendations for the first three months of following the plan.
  • As growing a little can affect young members’ age-adjusted-BMI dramatically, it is important that height is checked and BMI is plotted regularly. Young members are advised to go back to their health care team every three months so that they can provide continuing recommendations for weight management and measure their height, allowing them to plot the young member’s progress in the ‘Free2Go – a guide for you and your GP’ booklet.
  • All young members are recommended to follow the Free2Go programme which has been specifically tailored to ensure they enjoy an overall balanced diet, and incorporates physical activity guidelines for this age group.
  • As growing in height can render a target weight inappropriate or unachievable young members do not set a Personal Achievement Target like adult members. Instead of setting weight loss targets, Consultants help young members set behaviour change targets, steering them towards healthy food swaps, eating plenty of Free Food, cutting down on unhealthier foods and introducing more activity in their lifestyle.

Slimming World groups have the expertise and experience to help in behaviour change. They are also another brick in the wall of social support that is necessary to tackle obesity in the UK.

Andy Hill, Professor of Medical Psychology, Leeds University School of Medicine