Obesity charity calls for new Government to create a Department of Obesity

UK-wide report finds savage cuts in funding to tackle country’s growing health and obesity problem.


AN influential obesity charity is calling for the new Government to establish a Department of Obesity to tackle the “epidemic” facing the UK today.

The UK Charity HOOP UK (Helping Overcome Obesity Problems) made the call following shocking new figures revealed in its latest report that has uncovered savage cuts in public spending on obesity throughout 2014 – despite politicians’ headlines and hand-wringing on the subject.

The 2015 HOOP Report used Freedom of Information requests across the country to discover how much funding was currently available via Local Authorities for the treatment of obesity as a health issue.


A total of 132 local authorities responded and revealed:

On average 2.26% of the public health allocation was spent on weight management services – a 10% reduction compared to 2013.

On average 0.74% of the allocation was spent on children’s weight management services – a 17% reduction compared to 2013.

Approximately 1 in 3 local authorities are not providing any support for overweight or obese children, young people or adults.

Local authorities are providing services for less than 1% (0.86%) of children in need.

These allocations are extremely low when compared to: Substance misuse (26%), Sexual health (22%) and Smoking (5%).

This disparity is more problematic when the direct and indirect costs of each public health issue are considered:

  • Obesity (£6.1bn (direct) & £27bn (indirect));
  • Drugs misuse (£488 m & £14.9bn);
  • Alcohol misuse (£3.5bn & £21bn)
  • Sexual health (£1.5bn & £14.1bn) respectively.


CEO of HOOP, Jill Tipping, said “We are disappointed and actually shocked at the figures we have collated as to how little is being put into the treatment of obesity in this country. The indirect cost of obesity is so far-reaching that the core issues and a bigger understanding of this complex health issues needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.”

HOOP is calling for the new Government to create a Department of Obesity to address the ever increasing health issues for both children and adults. It cites the example of the UK Government having a Department of Sport when approximately 35% of the population play sport once a week, and yet with 1 in 3 children and 2 in 3 adults suffer daily due to their weight but there is no national policy or ministerial post assigned to the issue. HOOP believes this needs to change.

Jill added: “As the voice of the obese person, HOOP is ready to work with partners at all levels to address this lack of cohesive action. We are not here just to make a noise. We are here to take action and work on solutions for our members, their families and future generations.

“This problem is not going to go away. It needs to be understood, plans put in place and action taken. Our band of Experts by Experience are ready to get involved do their bit, but we need direction and leadership. That has to come from the top.

“Local Authorities have statutory targets to meet when dealing with drugs, alcohol misuse and sexual health issues, but they have no such incentives when it comes to tackling obesity. That makes it the poor relation when it comes to funding as LA’s have no Government targets to meet to ensure this issue is being tackled effectively. More than a third of the Local Authorities we contacted had no provision at all – and frankly that is disgraceful.”

UK HOOP members also report that weight management services currently available are often ‘patchy’ at best and the request is that monitoring systems are put in place to ensure services fall within NICE guidelines.

The central mission of HOOP UK is to Overcome Obesity issues. It is not a ‘fat acceptance’ group as it fully recognises the impact of weight on health and well being. It does however strive to break down the stigma surrounding obesity which is detrimental to the individual weight loss journeys of those who struggle on a daily basis with weight issues.


Notes to Editors:


Full report will be available to download from www.hoopuk.org.uk 8am Mon 22nd June.

HOOP UK is a national charity founded in 2012. It currently has 9,000 members and its core value is a non judgemental approach to issues associated with obesity.


Contact Jill Tipping.


07739 117206

Public Health England collaborates with Obesity Charity Helping Overcome Obesity Problems (HOOP UK) on innovative programme

HOOP (UK), a member led obesity charity, is delighted to announce that it will be working with Public Health England to deliver a pilot Community Champions Programme across the country over the next two years.

Ten volunteer Community Champions are being recruited to run ‘HOOP Groups’ which will provide peer-to-peer support for obese members of the community. They can offer ‘expert by experience’ knowledge, creating a two way dialogue between obese members of the community and health professionals and organisations in their locality.

The aims of HOOP (UK) are to support those who struggle with obesity whilst they address their weight issues, to help break down the stigma surrounding obesity and to be the voice of the obese person. These aims will be reflected throughout the programme.

Public Health England will be working closely with the delivery team as they pilot this unique project and it will be fully evaluated. The project aims to create a sustainable way forward for the groups to continue after two years as well as create a transferable toolkit to use in other areas.

The project will cover being more active and healthy eating with a significant focus on the emotional well-being of group members. As a result support mechanisms such as new friendships will develop.

HOOP (UK) is encouraging Local Authority Public Health Teams to get in touch if they would like to support the programme.

HOOP’s response to Mail Online Article

In response to the article written by The Mail Online today, we would first of all like to congratulate Elizabeth Thomson for having the courage to stand up for the help she needs for her daughter and for all of those other overweight children in our country and anxious parents who do not know which way to turn.

Let us not forget that HOOP was set up by Lesley McCormack whose daughter Allie was just like Holly Anne and who, after a huge amount of work and heartache from her parents, received the help she needed at one of the More-Life camps.

HOOP is the voice of the obese person. Our aim is to make the voice of our members heard.  Brave individuals like Elizabeth, who has been willing to stick her head above the parapet, make our voice so very much louder. As we expected, the comments made have attempted to shoot her down, but she was prepared for this.

We have hundreds and hundreds of parents in HOOP who are at their wits end and do not know where to turn. Cases like this highlight that it is not only the child that suffers, but also the whole family can be effected. Our members understand that parents have accountability – of course they do – but they are calling out for help, guidance and support to be able to help their children grow into healthy adults. Elizabeth, like our founder Lesley, is struggling to access appropriate services.

This is where change needs to happen.

In 2014, HOOP published an insightful report highlighting government spend on obesity in comparison to that allocated to other health services. This was done following a survey of local authority spend under the Freedom of Information Act.

The report can be seen here.

HOOP is about to publish the updated version for this past year’s findings. This will be available within the next week. The results are hugely disappointing as the information gathered indicates a drop in spend around this crucial health issue.

HOOP is ready and willing to work with government health bodies to improve this situation. There is a need for Less Talk and More Action!