Slimming World

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Slimming World
TypePrivate
Founded1969
HeadquartersAlfreton, Derbyshire
England
Key peopleMargaret Miles-Bramwell (Chairman)
ProductsWeight loss
Employees215 (head office/field management), 3,000 (consultants)[1]
Websitewww.slimmingworld.com
 
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Slimming World
TypePrivate
Founded1969
HeadquartersAlfreton, Derbyshire
England
Key peopleMargaret Miles-Bramwell (Chairman)
ProductsWeight loss
Employees215 (head office/field management), 3,000 (consultants)[1]
Websitewww.slimmingworld.com

Slimming World is a UK-based weight loss organisation. It holds groups around the UK, led by consultants, who are self-employed. According to the company, over the past 40 years more than five million slimmers have attended its groups.[1]

Slimming World claims its members lose weight through a combination of its 'Food Optimising' eating plan,[2] moderate activity through its 'Body Magic' programme[3] and group support and shared experience with other slimmers, which encourage behaviour change.

At a group, members are weighed and their weight change is shared with the group. A member's actual weight is confidential, and is not revealed to the group.[4] During the hour-long session, members share their experiences of the preceding week, discuss their weight losses or gains, and share ideas and strategies for the week ahead, during a session called 'IMAGE' (Individual Motivation And Group Experience) Therapy. Members share practical advice such as recipe suggestions, as well as strategies to cope with times when motivation is low.

Slimming World was founded in Derbyshire in 1969 by Margaret Miles-Bramwell, who remains its chairman. Caryl Richards has been managing director of the company since 2001.[1]

Contents

Company history

Previous logo, 2007-2009

The company began in 1969 with a handful of groups in Derbyshire and expanded into Yorkshire. By the 1980s, Slimming World had 700 classes in the UK and by 2009 there were 6,000 groups.

Slimming World's charity, 'SMILES', was launched in 1997. SMILES stands for "Slimmers Making It a Little Easier for Someone", and since 1997 it has raised more than £2,000,000 for charity.[5]

Slimming World magazine was launched in 1998. In 2008 sales exceeded 286,000.[citation needed] Slimming World also publishes a range of recipe books and directories available to members in group.

In 2001, Slimming World pioneered 'Slimming World on Referral' in the UK, whereby GPs can 'prescribe' attendance of a group for 12 weeks. So far Slimming World has worked with more than 50 Primary Care Trusts and in excess of 22,000 people have used the scheme.[citation needed]

In 2003 Slimming World launched a programme for 11- to 15-year-olds. Through the 'Family Affair' programme, children between the ages of 11 and 15 can attend Slimming World if accompanied by their parent or guardian. They follow a special eating plan called Free2Go which encourages them to make healthy swaps, such as replacing high fat foods with healthier alternatives.

An online weight loss programme was launched in 2004, offering a service to slimmers who do not attend a group. Originally called bodyOptimise it was renamed as Slimming World Online in 2011. The services offered by Slimming World Online mirror those supplied by a group.

Diet overview

Food Optimising plan

Slimming World states its eating plan, 'Food Optimising',is a "flexible, empowering, permissive approach to healthy eating". There is little or no weighing and measuring and no calorie counting involved. Food Optimising is purportedly based on the scientific principles of satiety (the satisfying qualities of food) and energy density, and encourages slimmers to fill up on nutritious, low energy dense foods to satisfy their appetite, while limiting consumption of less satisfying, high energy dense foods. Unique to food optimising is the unlimited choice of many 'free foods' which can include lean meat, fish and poultry, pasta, rice and grains, vegetables and fruit, which may be eaten freely. To help ensure a balanced diet, daily portions of 'healthy extras' are permitted, including bread, cereals, cheese and milk. Finally, controlled portions of higher calorie, less filling foods are included, such as crisps, wine, chocolate and sauces. In Food Optimising these are called "syns". Most adults have a daily "syn allowance" of between 5 and 15 "syns".[1]

Food Optimising has a variety of plans, which may be followed on a daily basis as the slimmer chooses:[2]

Physical activity

Slimming World encourages members to introduce physical activity into their daily lives through its 'Body Magic' programme. The emphasis is on introducing activity gently at first, such as getting off the bus a stop early a couple of times a week, or walking up two flights of steps instead of taking the lift occasionally, then on finding forms of activity which can be integrated into everyday life. Members achieve bronze, silver, gold and platinum 'Body Magic' awards. Platinum is achieved when members are routinely active/exercising five times a week for thirty minutes at a time.[citation needed]

Group support

The support of the consultant and other members is an important part of Slimming World's methods. When a member is losing weight successfully they receive praise and inspire the rest of the group to do well; when they are struggling to lose weight, they have support and practical advice from the group to help them get back on track.[citation needed]

The support continues outside the group via contact and support from the consultant, other members and through the website, 'LifelineOnline'. The website contains an online "syn-check", recipe ideas and support.[6]

Health and pregnancy

Slimming World encourages women to manage their weight healthily during pregnancy. It states that its pregnancy programme is designed to ensure that mums-to-be and breastfeeding mothers can continue to manage their weight, with the consent of their midwife.[citation needed]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d Slimming World - About us
  2. ^ a b Food Optimising Plan
  3. ^ Slimming World - Get Fit For Life
  4. ^ Slimming World - What to expect in group
  5. ^ SMILES
  6. ^ Slimming World Lifeline Online

External links