Claims that people should eat more fat and fewer carbs to lose weight are oversimplified

A new report issued by the National Obesity Forum (NOF) claims that current nutritional guidance is failing because of rising obesity over the past 30 years. The report follows increasing criticism of nutrition experts, which suggests that previous evidence regarding fats, carbohydrates and obesity is flawed.

The NOF report suggests that to tackle obesity people should be advised to eat more fat of the sort found in avocados, nuts, meat, fish and eggs and follow a low carbohydrate diet. When it comes to losing weight, the sheer volume and depth of evidence available cannot possibly be comprehensively summarised into a handful of rules, and it’s worrying that the role of fats and carbohydrates in obesity are being oversimplified and presented as opposites at two ends of a scale – as if one must be ‘good’ and the other must be ‘bad’. The truth is that if either fat or carbohydrates were solely to blame for the nation’s weight problems, the obesity epidemic would have slowed years ago. This report will only add to general confusion among consumers about how to follow a healthy, sustainable lifestyle that fits with normal everyday life.

At Slimming World we agree that counting calories is not an effective way to lose weight in the long term. As our 800,000 members who lose weight each week by following Food Optimising show, it is possible to develop new healthy habits by enjoying a balanced eating plan that includes eating as much Free Foods - meat, fish, eggs, potatoes, pasta and rice as well as fruit and vegetables – as necessary to satisfy their appetite. And by enjoying an occasional sweet treat like a small chocolate bar, a slice of cake, a biscuit or a glass of wine it is still possible to lose weight without feeling deprived or restricted. What is really key to anyone struggling with their weight and at risk of developing or being treated for conditions like Type 2 diabetes is support to make changes and develop new healthy lifestyle habits including being physically active.

The NOF report may attract attention and stir debate but it is likely to further confuse the public about what will and will not help them navigate to a healthier weight in our obesogenic environment. People need clear, consistent advice, a realistic, family-friendly eating plan and, most importantly of all, the support to make sustainable changes that will enable them to manage their weight in the long-term.

Notes to Editors

Slimming World was founded by Margaret Miles-Bramwell (OBE, FRSA) in 1969. There are now more than 18,000 groups held weekly across the UK and Republic of Ireland via a network of 4,000 community-based Slimming World Consultants, who receive specific training in the role of diet and physical activity in weight management, as well as sophisticated behaviour-change techniques.

Slimming World’s healthy eating plan, Food Optimising, is based on the science of satiety and energy density. Our phased activity programme, Body Magic, eases members into activity until it becomes an intrinsic part of their daily routine. The principles behind Slimming World’s philosophy are based on a deep understanding of the challenges faced by overweight people and a recognition that those who struggle with weight carry a double burden, the weight itself and a burden of guilt and shame about their weight. Slimming World’s programme integrates practical, up-to-date advice with a highly developed support system based on care and compassion, and Consultant training focuses on facilitating behaviour change in a warm and friendly group environment. Consultant training is delivered through the Slimming World Academy. Slimming World also invests in a comprehensive research programme to develop its support for long-term weight management. The group support provided by Slimming World is recognised as effective by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the NHS.

For more information about Slimming World’s approach visit www.slimmingworld.co.uk or call 0344 897 8000.

For the Press Office please email public.relations@slimmingworld.co.uk