Exit Accessibility View

Healthy weight advice for professionals

Healthy Weight Information for Health Professionals

This page is dedicated to Health Professionals. It includes information about Wiltshire's Obesity Strategy and the services available to residents in Wiltshire to help them achieve/maintain a healthy weight.

Wiltshire's Obesity Strategy sets out the strategic objectives needed to ensure that everyone in Wiltshire is enabled to achieve and maintain a healthy weight; Body Mass Index (BMI) range of 18.5 to 24.9. Achieving a healthy weight for all in Wiltshire could result in up to 230,000 residents living between three and nine years longer and an annual saving to the taxpayer of more than £118 million. This strategy provides a framework for working collaboratively across Wiltshire to achieve a downward trend in the levels of obesity in line with the national ambition.

To view obesity rates for Reception (4-5 year olds) and Year 6 (10-11 year olds) children, view the maps in the useful links section.


Wiltshire council has developed the Weight Management Care Pathway, which includes the tier 2 services for children from the age of 7-11 years old, pregnant women and adults. For morbid obesity or complex needs, the tier 3 service pathway should be followed. 


Universal services

Below is a list of services/initiatives that can be delivered in the relevant setting, aimed at preventing obesity in children and adults and therefore is available to the wider population.

Weight Management Specialist Services

To get support on achieving your healthy lifestyle goals you may want to seek support from our Health Trainers. The Health trainer team can offer 6 free 1 hour sessions of one-one support for healthy eating, increasing physical activity, reducing alcohol intake, stopping smoking and emotional wellbeing. They will help to build confidence and motivation to enable you to achieve your goals.

Email: health.trainers@wiltshire.gov.uk or wcouncil.healthtrainers@nhs.net

Telephone: 0300 003 4566

Visit: http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/public-health-trainers


Shape Up 4 Life (SU4L) is a FREE 12 week weight management programme that supports adults and young people to lose weight and keep it off long term.

SU4L is run in groups of 12-15 people, during the day time and evenings in community settings. Each 1.5-hour weekly session consists of a 45-minute nutrition workshop covering topics such as snacking, portion sizes, fats and sugar. Followed by 45 minutes of light exercise such as circuits, boxercise, resistance bands and seated exercise.

SU4L also offer the 12 week programme online for adults who can not access a group.

This service is for adults with a BMI of over 30 or over 28 with co-morbidities, and for children from the age of 14 on/over the 91st centile. Patients can be referred  to ShapeUp4Life by their GP/Health Professional as well as self refer. Patients that are unable to take part in physical activity sessions can access a bespoke group that does not include an active session. This is called 'ShapeUp4Life Open'.

You can find out about all the services ShapeUp4Life offer, by visiting the downloads section on this page. If you are a GP, you will also find GP referral information here. Clients can self-refer by visiting the newly launched Shape Up 4 Life Wiltshire website.

Email: shapeup4life.wiltshire@nhs.net (this goes directly to SU4L secure nhs.net email account)

Fax: 44 1249431055

Telephone: 0800 246 5877

Website: www.shapeup4lifewiltshire.co.uk


Active Health is an exercise referral programme which overweight adults along with any other medical conditions can be referred to.


Specialist Healthy Lifestyle in Pregnancy Service for obese pregnant women (BMI ≥30kg/m²). Women are referred to the service at their booking in appointment to maternity services.


10 week healthy lifestyle programme for families with an overweight child (91st centile).


Free weekly parkrun 5k events for all ages on Saturday mornings, walk, run, jog, volunteer, spectate. Download the Parkrun Practice Toolkit to find out how your GP Practice can be set up as 'parkrun practice'


Guidance on measurements throughout life course

Body Mass Index (BMI) is the most widley used measure for excess weight. The relationship with BMI and health varies with age and with ethnicity. A child's BMI changes as they grow taller regardless of excess weight, whereas adults' BMI tends to remain constant, until later in life.

Babies should be measured using the height and weight centiles. There isn’t an exact weight or height (or length) a baby should be. Your child’s weight and height (or length) will be plotted on the growth charts in their ‘red book’ which is completed by the Health Visitor. The UKWHO information in the red books has more information about measuring babies and answers to some frequently asked questions by parents.


BMIUK90 Growth Charts should be used to measure a child’s centile. This chart is recommended for use in England. Children in Reception and Year 6 are routinely measured as part of the National Child Measurement Programme which is an obesity surveillance programme of children in the UK. Other opportunities to measure children should include, School Nurse appointments and medical appointments for obesity related conditions (such as asthma medication reviews, type 2 diabetes, constipation). Children who are identified as above the 91 centile are considered overweight and therefore discussions should begin with the family about healthy changes they could make. For children above the 98th (obese) and 99.6th (morbidly obese) conversations with the family should be realistic about weight loss. It is unlikely a child above the 98th centile is going to grow in to their weight. Regular weighing should not be any more regular than once a week and focus should be on reducing the child’s BMI, by either losing weight as the child grows taller or staying the same weight as the child grows taller. Measuring a child’s height as well as their weight help to monitor the child’s BMI. Tracking this BMI on the growth chart will be helpful for the parent and child. Whilst there are no national guidelines that are specific about recommended weight loss for children, there is published guidance that a minimum reduction of 0.25 for BMIz score will improve cardiometabolic risk, yet greater benefits can be achieved from at least a 0.5 reduction in BMIz score, over 12 months. BMIz score is the standard deviation of the average BMI for a child’s age and gender.


BMI is used as an estimate of adiposity for adults. Waist circumference can be used in addition to BMI. For highly muscular adults, BMI needs to be used with caution and clinical judgement needs to be used. For most adults, BMI alone will suffice. NICE guidelines suggest adults should be encouraged to lose 5% of their weight over 12 weeks, to be ‘successful’.


Pregnancy – Women who have a BMI 30kg/m at their first antenatal appointment is the definition used for maternal obesity. There are a number of health risks associated with maternal obesity during their pregnancy and for thebaby as well.


Raising the Issue of Weight Training

Wiltshire Council’s Public Health team have developed the free 3 hour Raising the Issue of Weight Training for any professionals working with children and/or adults who are carrying excess weight and want to improve their confidence in talking to their clients about weight. The training will provide an introduction to obesity and provide support on initiating a conversation to encourage behaviour change. The training will also provide an overview of services available in Wiltshire for children and adults who want to make changes to achieve a healthier weight.

Aim – To increase confidence in raising the issue of weight Objectives:-

  • To understand the local and national statistics on obesity
  • To understand the causes of obesity
  • To understand the principles of brief intervention and behaviour change models
  • To increase confidence in raising the issue of weight in own setting
  • To be aware of Wiltshire Obesity Care Pathway and how to refer/signpost

Upcoming training with spaces available:- Currently we have no training.

If you would like to find out more or sign up to the next training date. Do also get in touch to arrange bespoke Raising the Issue of Weight Training for a specific group of staff.


Learning disabilities

Individuals with learning disabilities can be supported to manage their weight, make changes to their lifestyle by eating healthily or by encouraging participation in physical activity. There are a range of services that children and adults with learning disabilities can access.

NHS Choices has some useful information about supporting people with learning disabilities in weight management.


There are a range of leisure opportunities for children and adults with learning disabilities.


Easy Health have developed a range of easy to read resources promoting healthy eating and physical activity.


Share this page

Last updated: 14 June 2019 | Last reviewed: 14 June 2019