Slimming World founder is Business Woman of the Year
The founder of the UK and Ireland’s leading weight management organisation Slimming World, Margaret Miles-Bramwell OBE, has been named overall winner at the National Business Women’s 2023 awards, as well as winning the Business Woman of the Year for a large business category.
Margaret collected the award, which was created to recognise women who have achieved significant accomplishments in their career, honouring inspiring innovators and visionaries, at a prestigious event held in London.
Margaret’s commitment and dedication to helping people to live healthier lives was praised by the judges.
Founding Slimming World at just 21 after struggling with her own weight, Margaret launched her first slimming group in 1969 in Alfreton, Derbyshire, where the company is still based. Her approach introduced a revolutionary, generous, nutritionally balanced and flexible eating plan based on everyday healthy foods, designed to help people lose weight without ever going hungry.
She says: “Weight management programmes in the 60s were based on shame, guilt, and deprivation. I wanted to build a programme based on empowerment and kindness. Integrity, warmth, genuine care for others and humour are qualities which have always been at the heart of Slimming World."
“I’m immensely proud to have been recognised with this award. I’m accepting it not just for myself though, but for the big-hearted Consultants who run our groups all over the UK and Ireland, and our wonderful members who transform their lives with our support, too.”
In line with her original vision and under her leadership, Slimming World has transformed the lives of millions of people. In 2009, Margaret was awarded an OBE for services to healthcare and charity. She has seen the company grow to support hundreds of thousands of members each week, as well as creating opportunities for thousands as franchisee Consultants and staff.
Today, Slimming World holds around 13,000 weekly sessions in community weight loss groups across the UK and Ireland, alongside an online programme for those wishing to use digital support to lose weight.
Slimming World’s dietary approach has always been based on the latest research and this continues to be a focus for the company, with a significant project underway with the University of Leeds to examine the links between psychology, satiety, appetite control and perceptions of food groups.
Professor James Stubbs, Professor of Appetite and Energy Balance at the School of Psychology, University of Leeds, says: “I have known Margaret personally for over 30 years. I’ve always been impressed by her generosity and immense interest, fascination, curiosity, and commitment to scientific research. She has generously funded a number of science studies within the obesity sector which seek out answers to scientific questions that benefit the health and well-being of the nation.”
As well as Margaret’s commitment in helping people to live healthier, happier lives by losing weight, she’s incredibly passionate about supporting healthcare charities to further their research.
Professor Christian Ottensmeier, Professor of Immuno-Oncology Head and Neck Center, Institute of Systems, Molecular and Integrative Biology at the University of Liverpool, says: “Margaret is a truly remarkable person who has made and continues to make enormous contributions to the health of the nation. Through Slimming World, Margaret has raised many millions of pounds to support Cancer Research UK and a multitude of other charities.”
Slimming World was founded by Margaret Miles-Bramwell OBE in Derbyshire in 1969 and has become the UK and Ireland’s leading weight loss organisation with more people choosing to attend a Slimming World group each week than any other weight loss programme. We support hundreds of thousands of people, both in our groups and online, to lose weight and to adopt new habits to stay slim for life.
Over the years our founding principles haven’t changed:
· Our unique programme is based on a powerfully motivating support system called IMAGE (Individual Motivation and Group Experience) Therapy. Underpinned by a deep understanding of the psychology of overweight people, and incorporating the most effective sustainable behaviour change techniques, IMAGE Therapy is designed to inspire and motivate slimmers to make positive changes and to develop new, healthier habits around food and activity.
· Food Optimising is our healthy eating plan, based on the liberating concept of Free Food. We encourage our members to fill up on those foods that are naturally lower in energy density (calories per gram) and also highly satisfying while limiting foods that are highest in fat and sugar and are less satisfying, so they lose weight without ever feeling hungry or deprived and without having to weigh, measure or count everything they eat.
· Our activity support programme, Body Magic helps members to overcome any barriers around activity. Members choose when to start and they set the pace, finding activities they genuinely enjoy, until regular physical activity becomes an intrinsic part of their daily routine.
At the heart of everything we do lies our passion for treating every member with genuine care, empathy and respect.
We’re proud to work with the NHS, the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID), The Royal College of Midwives and others to help shape the future of weight management in the UK and Ireland.
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