In common with other Western countries, the UK faces an obesity crisis: over the past thirty years the number of obese people has risen to around a quarter of the adult population. There is an urgent and pressing need for government, the NHS and local public health bodies to identify and implement policies that reverse this trend, all at a time when the health service is facing an unprecedented financial squeeze.
LighterLife is a leading weight management company that offers a range of weight management programmes, of which behavioural change and healthy eating are key features. The emphasis is on identifying personal psychological drivers of obesity and overweight, thus facilitating individuals to help themselves lose weight in a safe, steady and predictable manner and ultimately achieve a lasting change in the individuals’ relationship with their diet.
Whitehouse has been working with LighterLife to help the company navigate the radically new public health structures bought about by the Health and Social Care Act 2012. This includes identifying and approaching powerful Directors of Public Health within local areas, discussing broader obesity policy with senior civil servants within national NHS bodies, briefing Members of Parliament to influence an England-wide obesity strategy, and engaging with relevant Ministers and officials in the devolved assemblies.
Whitehouse has also helped LighterLife to develop messaging on the cost-effectiveness and efficacy of LighterLife programmes aimed at commissioners and national bodies conscious of the financial, as well as health, benefits of helping individuals lose weight.
In addition, Whitehouse has been liaising with Parliamentarians and regulatory enforcement officials regarding specific concerns over advertising by the slimming sector, as well as related regulatory advice on product development
Whitehouse has used its experience and knowledge of the workings of the European Union to guide LighterLife through market access issues that have arisen in other EU Member States.
LighterLife has been one of the prime movers in helping to raise the issue of obesity, and how to deal with it, up the political agenda. As a result of this, the solutions offered by LighterLife are now acknowledged as effective and good value, leading to increasing interest from Directors of Public Health, Public Health England and Parliamentarians. LighterLife has also become an early and strong supporter of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Adult and Childhood Obesity.
Through continual engagement, LighterLife has also forged excellent working relationships with local and national regulators in their sector – leading to welcome regulatory certainty.
Similarly, LighterLife’s expertise is now actively sought out by bodies charged with giving the new NHS structures some expert advice on how to tackle obesity, including the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.
“Without a doubt the changes to the NHS and how public health is provided have been substantial since the Coalition Government came to power and we have been impressed with the advice given by the Whitehouse Consultancy on how best to find our way through the thicket of different bodies and agencies. Whitehouse has helped us refine our messaging on the value and potential role of LighterLife’s programmes, whilst ensuring that we remain aware and fully briefed on the important regulatory developments that affect our sector.”
Dr Kelly Johnston, Head of Nutrition and Research, LighterLife