The project “Weight Matters” takes a new adult education approach to weight loss and control: and will pilot effective ways to manage and cope with the challenges of living in an obesogenic environment.

Weight Matters will offer a unique set of solutions, with strengths-based coaching at its core, to support adults to develop their own weight literacy, and learn to shift their mind-sets in order to manage weight loss. Weight Matters brings together experts in the fields of mentoring and coaching, and nutrition, to share expertise and best practice to improve methodologies of supporting and promoting weight literacy to adults.

Weight Matters feeds directly into a number of EU priorities relating to obesity, health and social inclusion. In the 2007 White Paper: A strategy on nutrition, overweight and obesity-related health issues, the European Commission called for research into “the relationship between obesity and socio-economic status with a view to considering the most effective interventions to tackle those in low socio-economic groups.” The new WHO health policy framework for Europe: Health 2020 also looks at the links between social exclusion, socioeconomic groups and obesity. The related policy guide, states that, “low socioeconomic groups appear to be around two times more likely to become obese,” and also that “there is a strong relationship between obesity and low socioeconomic status, especially for women."

It is clear that people in lower socioeconomic groups are typically excluded from educational and health opportunities, with women often facing at least a double disadvantage. Given this context, the objectives of Weight Matters will focus its activities on people from lower socioeconomic groups who are normally at risk of social and health exclusion. In addition, Weight Matters will run a set of its Weight Free Groups (IO3) specifically for groups of women, who may face additional challenges and barriers to weight literacy.

Weight Matters will reach 705 people directly through its activities and at least a further 2,000 people through a thorough and effective dissemination campaign.

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