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Management of obesity


Obesity in Scotland has reached epidemic proportions with around two thirds of adults and one third of children being overweight or obese. Prevalence is increasing and the impact of obesity on physical and mental well-being is now recognised at a national level.

Remit and target users

This guideline provides evidence-based recommendations on the prevention and treatment of obesity within the clinical setting, in children, young people and adults. The focus of prevention is on primary prevention, defined here as intervention when individuals are at a healthy weight and/or overweight, to prevent or delay the onset of obesity.

This guideline will be of particular interest to those working in primary, secondary and tertiary NHS weight management services and those involved in management of services for long term conditions especially diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It will help provide direction for planning at local and national levels and will also be of interest to voluntary sector and commercial weight loss organisations, to patients and the general public.

How this guideline was developed

This guideline was developed using a standard methodology based on a systematic review of the evidence. The ADAPTE process for guideline adaptation was followed. Further details can be found in section 22 of the guideline  and in SIGN 50: A Guideline Developer’s Handbook .

Keeping up to date

This guideline was issued in 2010 and will be considered for review in three years. The review history, and any updates to the guideline in the interim period, will be noted in the review report.

If you are aware of any new evidence that would update this guideline please complete a change request form and return to:

Current 3-7 years

Some recommendations may be out of  date, declaration of interests governance may not be in line with current policy.


Full guideline (PDF)

Quick reference guide (PDF)

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Supporting material

Register of Interests

Search narrative

Evidence Note 28: Bariatric surgery in adults

Evidence Note 29: Weight management programmes for Adults

Copyright permission

Contact us

SIGN 115, February 2010
ISBN 978 1 905813 57 5

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