Data from National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) - Curated by Toby Galbraith - Last updated 11 October 2016



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This guideline makes recommendations on behaviours that may help people maintain a healthy weight or prevent excess weight gain. The recommendations support those made in other NICE guidelines about effective interventions and activities to prevent people becoming overweight or obese. This includes interventions and activities in which weight is not the primary outcome, such as those aimed at preventing cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes, improving mental wellbeing or increasing active travel.

Excess weight may increase the risk of coronary heart disease, hypertension, liver disease, osteoarthritis, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers such as breast, colon, endometrial and kidney cancer. People who are overweight or obese may also experience mental health problems, stigmatisation and discrimination because of their weight.

The recommendations aim to:

  • encourage people to make changes in line with existing advice
  • encourage people to develop physical activity and dietary habits that will help them maintain a healthy weight and prevent excess weight gain
  • encourage people to monitor their own weight and associated behaviours
  • promote the clear communication of benefits of maintaining a healthy weight and making gradual changes to physical activity and diet
  • ensure messages are tailored to specific groups
  • ensure activities are integrated with the local strategic approach to obesity.


The guideline covers children (after weaning) and adults. It does not cover the particular needs of women during pregnancy or people who have conditions that increase their risk of being overweight or obese.

The guideline is for practitioners who use related NICE guidance and need advice on behaviours that may help people maintain a healthy weight and prevent excess weight gain.

This includes practitioners who provide information on maintaining a healthy weight or preventing excess weight gain and people who commission, design, implement or evaluate interventions that directly or indirectly help different population groups maintain a healthy weight or prevent excess weight gain. In addition, it may be of interest to members of the public.

Read full guideline


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