Table 1

Characteristics of the Weight Loss Interventions

InterventionCharacteristics
Commercial programVouchers to attend Weight Watchers for 12 months
Weekly group meetings in local community venue
 Promotes a hypoenergetic, balanced diet based on healthy eating principles
 Advice on increasing physical activity
 Weight measurement
 Group support
Access to internet-based systems to monitor food intake, activity, and weight change; to participate in community discussion boards; and to access a library of information, recipes, and meal ideas
Average participant attendance while in trial = 3 meetings per month
Standard careIn line with national guidelines (see http://www.nice.org.uk/CG043)
Weight loss advice from primary care professional at local practice (usually practice nurse)
 1-on-1 meetings; minimum level of care = 6 visits over 12 months
 Weight measurement
 Dietary advice based on British Heart Foundation booklet So You Want To Lose Weight... For Good
Average participant attendance while in trial = 1 meeting per month