“Tubby Town” loses 6 tons of fat

Don’t you just love tabloid headlines? This is from The Sun, from 17th January 2011. The story is about the successful weight loss of a group of overweight residents of Rotherham, as town that was declared as one of Britain’s most obese towns.

The success started after a new NHS drop-in slimming centre was opened in Rotherham. Statistics for the town showed that 1 in 3 people were either very overweight of obese.

Rotherham Institute for Obesity

The cause of the success is mostly down to the information and advice provided by the Rotherham Institute for Obesity (NHS link).  The philosophy of Rotherham is simple, and shared by Dr. Capehorn who heads up the obesity clinic:

“Every town needs to do this and take responsibility for their obesity problem. This is a real success story and some of our patients have nearly halved their size and have gone from being on ten medications to two.

We were shocked when we looked at the cumulative weight loss. We’ve made nearly six tons’ difference in just over a year.” Matt Capehorn, Rotherham Ins. of Obesity.

It was in Rotherham that parents of children at one of Jamie Oliver’s pioneering School Dinners experiments passed junk food to their kids through the school fence.

It is great to see that such a turnaround can happen. What’s more, it is government led, not controlled by commercial grounds. And the key is information and advice. Knowledge is power, and knowledge, at least in this context, is also free.

If every town had an Institute of Obesity then we may make some better progress at combating obesity and actually force the food industry to make some changes.

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