Credit: Matt Love, Maura Murphy

Are primary care delivered weight management interventions effective?

Our study suggests weight management interventions delivered by primary care are effective and can be utilised to help people better manage their weight.

We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of weight management interventions delivered in primary care. 

We found that:

  • Weight management interventions delivered by primary care are effective, should involve at least 12 contacts and can be utilised to help people better manage their weight
  • There is some evidence that weight management interventions delivered by non-medical practitioners within primary care, which are often endorsed and supervised by general practitioners, result in similar amounts of weight loss compared to those delivered by clinician-led programmes
  • Primary care delivered weight management interventions should be commissioned

What next?

Can primary care delivered weight management interventions be implemented, and are the interventions equitable?

Citation details

Madigan CD, Graham H, Sturgiss E, Kettle V, Gokal K, Biddle GJH, Taylor GMJ, Daley AJ. Effectiveness of weight management interventions in adults delivered by primary care practitioners: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. BMJ 2022377. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj-2021-069719

Acknowledgements

Professor Amanda Daley is supported by a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research Professorship award. This research was supported by the NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR, or the Department of Health and Social Care. 

Dr Liz Sturgiss' salary is supported by an Investigator Grant (National Health and Medical Research Council, Australia). Dr Gemma Taylor is supported by a Cancer Research UK Fellowship.

Find out more about our work in the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases

Our researchers

Claire Madigan

Dr Claire Madigan

Senior Research Associate, Weight management interventions

Amanda Daley

Professor Amanda Daley

Professor of Behavioural Medicine, Centre Director

Tory Kettle

Dr Tory Kettle

Research Associate, PACE food labelling research

Greg Biddle

Dr Greg Biddle

Research Associate, GP standing desk research

Kajal Gokal

Dr Kajal Gokal

Senior Research Associate, Snacktivity

Henrietta Graham

Henrietta Graham

Doctorate student, weight management research