...information for health professionals

Family Affair: a tailored  programme for adolescents

Slimming World offers free membership to 11 to 15 year olds if their parent or guardian is a member and is able to fully support them in their journey. We notify the young member's GP when they join so that they are well informed. Slimming World has created two special booklets to accompany its support for 11-15 year olds: Free2go

  • All young members are provided with age specific literature:
    • ‘Free2Go’ which is an eating plan and activity booklet. This plan has been specifically tailored for our young member's ensuring they have a flexible, balanced diet and plenty of encouragement to become more active.
    • ‘Free2Go – a guide for you and your parent/guardian’ which is a guidance booklet for parents/guardians, Slimming World group Consultants, and the young members to use jointly to log and monitor the young member's BMI and any recommended weight control targets. This booklet outlines Slimming World's approach, details what we are asking for from the parent/guardian in terms of support and regular monitoring and asks the parent/guardian to give consent for the young member to attend Slimming World.
  • Once consent has been received, the member's group Consultant will inform the member's GP of their attendance at a Slimming World group by letter and provide further details about Slimming World and Free2Go.
  • As growing a little can affect young member's age-adjusted-BMI dramatically, we ask the parent/guardian to check the young member's height every 3 months. Young member's weight changes are monitored closely and their BMI centile is plotted every 3 months in the ‘Free2Go – a guide for you and your parent/guardian’ 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 member's do not set a Personal Achievement Target like adult members. Instead of setting weight loss targets, Consultants help young member's 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