The WRAP Trial: How effective are referrals to commercial weight management services?
A trial testing the effectiveness of referral to commercial weight management services and the optimum length of the referral.
Our previous research has shown that group-based commercial weight loss programmes are more effective than trying to lose weight unaided or with the help of a trained NHS clinician and the commercial programmes were also cheaper to provide.
In this trial, we tested whether a 12-week referral and a 12-month referral to a commercial programme were more effective than a self-help booklet to support weight loss and whether the cost of the referral was value for money for the NHS.
The trial showed that 12-month programme led to the greatest weight loss over 2 years with bigger impacts on blood sugar than either of the other two programmes and it was cost-effective. However, the 12-week programme was more effective than the self-help programme but less effective than the 12-month programme.
Importantly, over 25 years the 12-week programme was cost-saving for the NHS, not just cost-effective.
> Trial protocol (BMC Public Health)
We have also published research looking at whether men, women or people from all socio-demographic backgrounds respond to an invitation to lose weight: