20th March 2017

Learning more about weight management

Learning more about weight management

One of the key challenges in helping people with weight maintenance is understanding what they think about weight loss, how they lose weight and what support they need to maintain their weight loss in the long term. There isn’t much solid scientific evidence available, so one of the first tasks in NoHoW was to carry out a large, population-based survey.

In 2015, we surveyed 2,000 people in the UK, Denmark and Portugal to learn more about their weight loss attempts and their strategies for weight loss maintenance. We used the results if this survey to help build the NoHoW Toolkit and design our trial of the Toolkit. We presented the results at the European Health Psychology Conference (Aberdeen) last autumn, and we are currently writing papers to report novel predictors of weight loss and weight loss maintenance, as well as paper focusing on the weight control activities in each participating country in more depth. In Spring/Summer 2016, we will perform a similar follow-up survey to see if there are any seasonal effects.

Dr. Elizabeth Evans presenting NoHoW at the European Health Psychology Conference (Aberdeen)

In order to learn more about weight loss maintenance strategies and support needs, we’ve also carried out in-depth interviews with people from the UK, Denmark and Portugal who have been successfully maintaining their weight loss. As for the survey, we used the results of the interviews to build the NoHoW Toolkit and design the NoHoW trial. Some of the results will be presented at the European Congress on Obesity (Porto) this coming May, and papers describing the findings in each individual country are in progress.

We’re currently working on a longitudinal survey of 3,000 successful weight maintainers, recruited from Slimming World, who are a partner on the NoHoW project. In this survey, we’ll use members’ weight loss history and their survey responses over the course of a year to learn more about long-term weight maintenance. The results of this survey will help us to interpret the results of the NoHoW trial.