Dr Emma Boyland is a Lecturer in appetite and obesity in the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Psychology, Health and Society
“The Appetite and Obesity Research group at the University welcomes the focus on behavioural change over the long term in the new guidelines released today by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) for weight management in the NHS.
“In the week that the European Congress on Obesity is being held in Sofia, Bulgaria, it is clear that there is a pressing need for economic and effective interventions to tackle the current unsustainable levels of overweight and obesity in UK adults.
“There are a limited number of drugs available to support weight loss efforts, and there simply are not comprehensive NHS resources and options in place for primary care practitioners to offer to patients who need help in improving their health.
As made clear by the new guidelines, lasting behavioural change is central to individual success but as Professor Jason Halford, Head of the Department of Psychological Sciences, comments “behaviour is formed over a lifetime and is difficult to change. It is shaped and maintained by the food environment, which is something policy makers and industry must deal with”.
The group are currently evaluating differing forms of commercial weight loss programmes within the University’s Ingestive Behaviour Laboratory.