Matt Whitaker – Research and Trainer in Public Health/17 October 2016
As briefly mentioned in the previous blog ‘introducing X-PERT Heart’ this blog will be introducing the second programme in development and also due for launch at the 2017 X-PERT Audit & Awards Conference, X-PERT Weight.
Why do we need X-PERT Weight?
The X-PERT Weight programme is being developed as the prevalence of obesity is detrimental to public health and the UK economy. The Health and Social Care Information Centre reported 58% of women and 65% of men to be overweight or obese. Dietary advice advocated since 1983, centred on a low fat approach was not evidence based (1) consequently obesity rates increased from 8% and 12% in men and women at this time (2) to 24% in 2014 (3). Current dietary strategies are not working and as a result obesity costs to the UK economy have vastly increased from £473.3 million in 1998 (4) to £4.2 billion in 2007 (5) to an immense current day estimated spend of £27 billion in 2016 (6).
Obesity is the fourth largest risk factor of deaths in England according to the NHS Atlas of risk. Overweight individuals were 26% more likely to develop CHD and 13% more likely to suffer from a stroke and obese individuals were 69% more likely to develop CHD and 47% more likely to suffer from a stroke compared to those who were ‘normal’ weight. These amplified risks were strongly correlated with the subjects increased blood pressure which is directly related to weight gain (7). Additionally obesity is positively correlated with multiple adverse health conditions such as: type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, some forms of cancer, osteoarthritis, sleep apnoea, neurological functioning and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (8).
The Government healthy eating guidelines over the past couple of decades are failing to decrease obesity levels, quite the opposite, questioning whether existing guidelines are appropriate for maintaining a healthy weight. Contemporary dietary beliefs around weight loss may not be as accurate as first thought suggesting sustainable weight changes may not be solely down to energy intake vs expenditure (calories in vs calories out). There will be additional blogs discussing the limitations with energy balance and ‘The Hormonal Obesity Theory’ in due course.
With further increases in the obesity epidemic predicted over coming decades the necessity for alterations in public health advice/education is evident.
Why are X-PERT Health the right people for the job?
X-PERT Health has a proven track record in researching, developing and implementing and evaluating intensive lifestyle structured education through its diabetes programmes. Our most recent audit reports have shown attendees of our programmes to have improved a range of physiological and anthropometrical measurements including: body weight, glycaemic control, blood pressure and blood lipids (full report).
X-PERT Health’s philosophy is to provide high quality structured education to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence for attendees to make informed decisions and self-manage their health. We focus education on exploring all of the different dietary approaches as one size does not fit all! We provide evidence based nutritional information for attendees to make empowered decisions themselves to find which approach best suits their lifestyle and adhere to in the long run as we do not believe in the word ‘diet’ which implies an end date where a likely relapse could occur.
How are we going about it?
The dietary approaches that will be offered to participants attending X-PERT Weight will be:
* Low fat, high carbohydrate
* Low carbohydrate, high fat
* Mediterranean diet
* Intermittent/alternative day fasting
Later blogs will discuss and explain these dietary approaches and their strengths and limitations as it is important to note they should be principally individualised. Content delivered throughout the X-PERT Weight programme will have a high focus on the most recent and relevant research on these areas in addition to related topics. All messages delivered will have a strong, consistent evidence base behind them as we appreciate we are advising people on their health. We will be delivering sessions using discovery learning as opposed to didactic teaching.
Once X-PERT Weight is developed, a piolet will take launched, ideally in spring 2017 with on-going feedback from participants throughout.
We aim to improve the public’s knowledge on the prevention and reversal of obesity through adapting lifestyle and making informed choices which is getting progressively harder to do with all the contradicting messages published and advised continuously.
Keep your eyes peeled on the X-PERT Health website and specifically on the blogs and research tab to learn more about the exciting development of our two new programmes
Any questions, feedback and/or suggestions would be most welcomed, please email me at –
1. Harcombe Z, Baker JS, Cooper SM, Davies B, Sculthorpe N, DiNicolantonio JJ, et al. Evidence from randomised controlled trials did not support the introduction of dietary fat guidelines in 1977 and 1983: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Open Heart. 2015;2(1):e000196. doi: 10.1136/openhrt-2014-.
2. Forces NaPAT. The Health of The Nation: Obesity, reversing the increasing problem of obesity in England. London: Department of Health; 1994.
3. Carl Baker AB. Obesity Statistics. House of Commons Library; 2016. Contract No.: 3336.
4. Office NA. Tackling Obesity in England. National Audit Office. London: The Stationery Office. 2001.
5. Butland B JS, Kopelman P, et al., . Tackling obesities: future choices – project report (2nd Ed). London; 2007.
6. Treasury) DGH. BUDGET 2016. 2016.
7. The Global Burden of Metabolic Risk Factors for Chronic Diseases Collaboration (BMI Mediated Effects). Metabolic mediators of the effects of body-mass index, overweight, and obesity on coronary heart disease and stroke: a pooled analysis of 97 prospective cohorts with 1.8 million participants. The Lancet. 2014;383(9921):970-83.
8. Malnick SD, Knobler H. The medical complications of obesity. QJM. 2006;99(9):565-79.