New Study Highlights Flaws In Weight Loss Advice From GPs

New Study Highlights Flaws In Weight Loss Advice From GPs

New research has shed light on the specific weight loss advice being given to patients by their GPs. A study published in Family Practice set out to understand the guidance patients were receiving from their doctor when it came to losing weight. Researchers at the University of Oxford listened to 159 recordings of doctors advising patients categorised as obese. They found that, unfortunately, the advice patients received was ‘generic’ and ‘rarely included effective methods’.


When we experience health concerns, it’s often our GPs we turn to for advice. Many of us see our GP for routine health checks or medication reviews. Because of this, GPs are uniquely positioned to highlight to us when our weight creeps up beyond a healthy level and advise us on what to do about it.

However, researchers found that the weight loss advice patients were receiving from their GPs was falling short. Often statements were vague, advising patients to ‘be careful what you eat and follow proper dietary advice’ with patients being told to ‘look at their diet’.

Here’s one example of some weight loss advice given a GP included in the study: “So, you don’t want to be thinking I’m a bit peckish, I’m going to demolish a Mars bar, cos that’s a lot of calories, and you won’t feel any less hungry. What you want to be thinking is I’m a bit peckish, I’m going to eat a banana.”

Our clients are intelligent, educated people. They know that fruit is healthier than a Mars Bar. The challenges they face with their weight go beyond simply knowing what healthy food looks like. A comprehensive and personalised approach is required for effective, long term weight management,


The study concluded the following. “Weight-loss advice from GPs to patients with obesity rarely included effective methods, mostly communicating a general “eat less, do more” approach. Advice was mostly generic, and rarely tailored to patients’ existing knowledge and behaviours. Effectiveness of brief weight-loss advice could be improved if GPs were given clearer guidance on evidence-based recommendations.”

The study’s co-lead author, Annabel Poon went on to say: ‘Weight loss advice currently given by GPs often perpetuates ‘myths’ regarding obesity, and fails to support patients to make beneficial lifestyle changes. This study highlights the need for better training for doctors to deliver evidence-based advice that is tailored to the individual patient in order to provide effective improvement to weight, health and wellbeing,’


As a team, we have much time and respect for GPs. Most are hard working and committed to doing the best for their patients. Having friends, colleagues and clients who work as general practitioners, we see how much time and energy they invest in their job. And the restrictions they face in regards to time spent with patients and available resources. GPs are trained to have knowledge across a wide range of different health issues. Unfortunately, most GPs have very little nutrition education included in their basic training. Therefore, they’re simply not equipped with the knowledge, time or resources to comprehensively support patients with their weight management. For this reason, we receive patient referrals from a number of private and NHS doctors.


GPs are human, just like the rest of us. And many GPs struggle with their own weight loss. A number of our clients, past and present are GPs themselves. Here’s just one recent review from a GP client of ours…

“As a GP you might imagine that I would have enough understanding of how to lose weight not to need the help of an expert. However, like everyone else, myself and my partner struggled with the challenge of translating that knowledge into action. Increasingly we all have access to a variety of different sources of information and advice. So much so it can be overwhelming. I just needed someone I trusted to simplify this into a daily routine that we could follow. The support that Kim gave us was perfect. She gave us everything we needed to adjust our diet in a way that reflected our personal needs. This included some changes in what we ate, but ensured we could still enjoy our meals and feel satisfied, and some adjustments in meal times to incorporate a fasting period. The advice was evidence based but was applied in a way that reflected the reality of our lives. Not only did we both lose weight, but this has been sustained and we have not adjusted our diet and lifestyle well over a year on. I am incredibly thankful to Kim for the thoughtful and encouraging approach she took to helping us out. We specifically did not want to get fixated on a particular target, and neither of us were hugely overweight, but just wanted to feel happier and healthier. Undoubtedly the best decision I have made in relation to my health.” – Dr Jonty Heaversedge (Google Review)


If you are looking to lose weight with the help of a qualified and experienced expert, we can help. Successful weight loss is about so much more than ‘eating less and exercising more’. A more comprehensive and sophisticated approach is required to ensure long term success. Our Intelligent Weight Loss Method can help you overcome your weight challenges, reach your ideal weight and maintain it long term. Book your complimentary call today to find out how we can help you. 


Sarah has worked with hundreds of clients over the past decade to help them live in a healthy body that they feel confident in.

Sarah spent a large part of her teens and 20’s as a professional dancer battling with orthorexia and an unhealthy relationship with food and her body. This created a desire to understand the human body more so she could finally cut through the confusion and end the cycle of yoyo dieting. This fuelled her passion to help other women do the same.


Sarah specialises in supporting women who are struggling to lose weight due to underlying health issues. She’s helped many women manage their weight during and after the menopause, as well as clients with thyroid disease and immune system dysfunction. Sarah loves food and sharing healthy recipes with her clients. Her aim is to ensure that clients don’t feel deprived and instead, achieve their weight loss and health goals in a positive and sustainable way.


To enquire about working with Sarah, please contact us.



Ailsa is one of our most experienced practitioners. She specialises in helping clients to lose weight, develop a healthy relationship with food and finally feel comfortable in their skin. Ailsa’s mission is for everyone she works with to enjoy the journey and that working with a nutritionist should not be a punishment, but your access to a new possibility.


Ailsa is not only an experienced weight loss nutritionist, she is also a skilled coach. She helps our clients overcome emotional eating, destructive habits and self-sabotaging behaviours that have prevented successful weight loss in the past. Ailsa has spent years in clinic working with clients who have experienced yo-yo dieting and have discovered that long term weight loss is not just about eating less until you can stand it no longer.


Working with Ailsa you will be comprehensively supported, not only in improving your nutrition and lifestyle, but also your eating habits and your relationship with food. When you work on all these elements together, the results can be truly astonishing.


To enquire about working with Ailsa, please contact us.

Test Nikki is our Practice Manager, managing our team of practitioners and heading up the day-to-day running of the business. Nikki is involved in the strategic development of our practice, coming from a strong business background in town planning. A Florida girl, Nikki relocated to the UK in 2014 with her husband and two children.



Nikki is our Practice Manager, managing our team of practitioners and heading up the day-to-day running of th clinic.


Nikki is involved in the strategic development of our practice, coming from a strong business background in town planning.


A Florida girl, Nikki relocated to the UK in 2014 with her husband and two children.


Stéphanie is a skilled nutritional therapist and functional medicine practitioner with additional training in eating disorders, disordered eating and obesity. She believes that working towards both physiological and mental health is key in achieving optimum wellbeing.


Stéphanie’s personal experience of emotional eating and the ongoing struggle to find the right support led her to combine the science of nutrition with behavioural coaching to motivate and empower her clients. She specialises in helping people who struggle with their weight and their relationship with food. She helps them develop a healthier and more peaceful relationship with food and their bodies.


To enquire about working with Stéphanie, please contact us.


Inna is passionate about supporting women on their journey to improved health and wellbeing. She believes that the solution to effective weight loss does not lie in ever more restrictive diets, but a more sophisticated approach that optimises health and vitality, as well as promoting effective weight loss.


Working with Inna you will benefit from her in-depth knowledge of female health and hormones. She will support you in developing a healthy diet, lifestyle and mindset that ensures you reach your ideal weight and maintain it in the years to come.


Inna is passionate about food with a wide repertoire of delicious healthy recipes and meal ideas to ensure your weight loss journey is as enjoyable as possible!


To enquire about working with Inna, please contact us.



Ania is a firm believer that improving your health and losing weight should be a positive, empowering journey, not one centred around deprivation.


After being diagnosed with two autoimmune conditions in her twenties, Ania spent several years educating herself on the power of food and nutrition. She put it all into practise and changed her diet and lifestyle, reversing her endometriosis and thyroid disease. After experiencing such a significant improvement in her health, Ania had a big desire to help others. She embarked on a four year journey to study nutrition, graduating from the Institute for Optimum Nutrition with distinction.


Ania specialises in autoimmunity and works with clients who have underlying health issues preventing successful weight loss. Her expertise enables her to successfully support our clients with conditions such as hypothyroidsm (underactive thyroid), PCOS and diabetes. 


To enquire about working with Ania, please contact us.

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