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With this part of the world gripped in an obesity epidemic, the panic signs are beginning to show in the latest Government initiative. Worst still is the fact that plans to reward overweight people for their weight loss, have the potential to be another policy that backfires on the Government. These are the beliefs of Weight Management Motivation Coach and author Chrissie Webber.

“Such a policy, if not carefully implemented, could easily see an increase in yo-yo dieting and it’s subsequent weight gain. With research showing that 98% of dieters regain their lost weight, plus at least 10% more within 2 years, the effects of such a reward scheme could be seriously divisive,” commented Chrissie who has shed over 5 stone and kept the weight off for several years.

“Restricting food is the cultural norm when losing weight, yet studies show that the risk of obesity is 3 times greater for dieters than for those who live diet free. Worse still is the fact that when weight loss programmes are unsuccessful, weight cycling (yo-yo dieting) often occurs. This in turn actually increases the risks of serious health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and strokes,” explained Chrissie whose book Weight Loss, Life Gain (Accent Press, January 2008) examines why dieting does not lead to sustainable weight loss for most people and highlights motivation keys to turn this around.

She also believes that offering weight management advise may be an initiative that ends in disaster if it revolves around the present dieting mindset of ‘good’/‘bad’ foods. Through experience she knows that more needs to be done to educate people in how to in how to revert to the ‘Conscious Eating’ skills of non-dieters. That is, away from a dieting mindset, which generates guilt, shame, self-loathing and a negative body image. Without this shift in weight management support policy, she believes that many people will still end up failing in their endeavour to find permanent weight loss.

However, she does concede that funding for increased regular exercise is a redeeming part of this Government initiative. Her only concern here is that present initiatives in some areas do give GP’s the power to fund Leisure Centre or Gym membership with a personal trainer but only for 15 weeks. With at least 9 months of regular changes in lifestyle needed to influence long-lasting change, she is concerned that funding for a short course of exercise may not be enough.

“Many people need long term motivational support that builds their self-esteem. They need to focus on loving themselves and living life in a way that helps them develop a healthy relationship with food. That is, one which sees food as a fuel source not a comforter and where exercise is enjoyable and fun,” Chrissie commented. “We need to change the mindset of a nation and that does not begin with financial reward. It begins with us helping people to find their motivation enablers; the ones that focus on comfort loving, not comfort eating and on self-belief not guilt and shame. Financial rewards and initiatives that offer short-term solutions could in fact make the obesity crisis even worse.”


For more information please contact Chrissie Webber:

Tel: 01633 411769
Mob: 07515640056

For more information about Chrissie and her work please see:

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