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.

Thanks to our Patron – Jessie Pavelka

Message from HOOP Director, Jill Tipping

Lesley and I would like to officially thank our Patron, Jessie Pavelka, for his continued belief in our work and his tireless involvement in fundraising for HOOP.

Earlier on this year, Jessie committed to supporting HOOP with the production of his 2015 calendar, the launch of which was announced last night. We are truly honoured and grateful that he has once again put our charity alongside his work.

In 2012, Jessie donated his time for a meet and greet in London. This not only raised the money we needed to gain our charitable status, but also gave us The Jessabelles, who still support and work with us in all sorts of ways.

In August 2013, he came over to the UK and spent 12 days attending events throughout the country, and the generosity of all of those who attended those10662129 778819425507614 2361372099588562916 o events meant that HOOP was able to move on to the next level, send 3 children to camp and be able to start to work with Public Health England to tackle obesity from the top.

Just two months after that initial tour, Jessie worked with volunteer fundraiser, Jennette Wright, on a weekend of events in Chelmsford, which again raised the capital we needed to keep going.

In December this year he is taking training sessions with winners of the summer auction and he will, of course, be attending events to raise funds again and celebrate the launch of HOOP Scotland. There are also plans being put in place for Jersey and Ireland – so watch this space.

Let’s not forget those from his shows who have become integral parts of HOOP: Lee Veasey, Sarah La Brocq and Beth Clegg – all of whom have given hours and hours of their time to support and inspire, and we would like to give them our heartfelt thanks for all they do for us.

And now we will be benefitting from the sale of his very beautifully produced Jessie Pavelka 2015 calendar.

So Jessie, you are a true asset to our team and you have a generous and beautiful soul. We are blessed to have your support and we look forward to making a difference on all levels.

Thank you.

Summer Camp Successes

This year HOOP were able to help three young people improve their quality of life by part funding their attendance at Morelife Summer Camps.

Here are their stories:

From Kellie, Isabelle’s Mum

Some people say Friday the 13th is bad luck, but not for me. This is the day when I finally found HOOP UK.

After many years of different health professionals trying to help my daughter Issy, nothing was changing and she was still gaining weight. I felt desperate for someone to help.

I needed outside help. When you are dealing with a child it’s very difficult to control, I felt guilty if I stopped her eating when she was telling me she was hungry and I felt guilty if I let her eat when I knew she shouldn’t be hungry. We were in a constant battle with each other and with food.Issy

I had spent the day scouring the internet looking for help and made many calls and sent emails, then came across HOOP, I made a phone call not expecting anything!

Jill Tipping answered my call and from that moment everything changed: she was the first person who I felt understood me and made me feel able to explain without feeling guilty. I told her all about my family and Isabelle. All of my emotions came flooding out and it felt like a huge relief. She said we will help you and give you support, then said I really should talk to Lesley, the founder of HOOP. I passed on my phone number not knowing what to expect.

Within a few hours I had a call from Lesley and again I knew she really understood what my family was going through and she wanted to help. We talked about the More life camp, and I knew about it but at £4250 never thought this would be possible!

She said we will work together and HOOP are right beside you. She gave me some things to do and then, with the help of Gemma Corston- Love, Hoop set up a Just Giving page. I was astonished by the support within 3 weeks they had not only raised enough for Issy but also enough to send another child, Abby, as a day camper.

So, on 27th of July we drove Isabelle almost 300 miles to Leeds to the More- life camp. This was very scary and hard to do and I was just praying that Isabelle would settle in. As we pulled up to this beautiful building, Woodhouse Grove School, 3 members of the camp team came over to the car to meet us and Issy.

Isabelle’s time at More life camp this summer has changed our lives. This was not an easy thing to do: send your 12 year old child away for 5 weeks to help her to lose weight, and many people simply don’t understand the situation and lack sympathy. They think it’s as easy as don’t feed her so much and make her exercise……

More life camp has given Issy the tools to help herself. She now understands food. She has become more independent, more confident and is willing to try new exercise and understands the importance of keeping active.

As a family this whole experience has been very hard at times but ultimately had the most positive impact on all of us. We are so proud of Isabelle and forever grateful to HOOP who made this possible. Kellie Thorne.

Julia’s Experience

My experience of Abby’s time at camp has definitely been a positive one. It was ideal for me as Abby was a day camper and I could catch up with her at night and share her excitement of what she had learnt that day and what she would be doing the following day. Abby has taken a lot from her time at Morelife Camp, even more than I expected considering it was only for a short period of 5 weeks. The changes in her are amazing; not only has she learnt how to look at calories, nutrition and portion control and lots more but what has impressed me the most are the changes towards how she looks at food and how it no longer controls her life. Her confidence has grown so much since attending camp and she is a lot more content. I like that camp never made Abby feel like she was on a diet and that all food was allowed but just in moderation so that it was easier to continue on at home. I’m so glad I got this opportunity to send my daughter to Morelife camp as she is now on the right track to a happy and healthy life style thanks to the changes she was taught. Thank you to everyone who made it possible and to all at Morelife!

Abby’s Experience

I enjoyed camp and the activities plus I got to meet a load of new friends who were struggling like I was. It was fun the way that the staff at camp taught us about food and I could understand what they were teaching me. When camp was over and I was at home, I was a little overwhelmed with trying to remember everything but I finally got the gist of things and now can continue with it. I keep in touch the friends I made at camp and they help me get along with the things I need to do and keep me motivated, also some of the staff keep in touch with me to help me too. I really enjoyed camp and I wish the 2015 campers well and also enjoy their experience like I did.

Nick’s Story

Sending Nick to More Life Camp was an easy decision to make as we knew he would benefit from it so much. Once we had saved enough money for him to attend as a day camper, we purchased a trailer tent and started checking out campsites, when you wonderful Hoopies came to our aid and helped pay for him to go for three weeks and to stay as a residential camper, which was amazing.

The hardest part was leaving him and having the courage to make him stay. Lots of nights there were tears from both Nick and me, as he hates being away from home so much, and gets very anxious being in new situations and large groups.

While he was at camp he kept saying he hated it, but once home did admit it wasn’t as bad as he made out, he just hated being away from home, and having to meet new people and try new things.

Since coming home from camp, Nick has added MFP to his phone and is monitoring what he eats, he is looking at labels to see what is the healthiest choice, and we have been having a family weigh in on a Sunday morning. He is riding his bike to school several days a week and asking to go swimming.

The Conquering of Ben Nevis

Well done and ‘thank you’ to Mike Kay, Essex Bootcamp, Chelmsford who recently took 50 people up Ben Nevis, raising money for HOOP at the same time! Top man!!

On August 9th 50 People From Essex Bootcamp set out on a 14 Hour Drive in Minibuses from Chelmsford. Our Destination BEN Nevis.

10th August at 0800hrs everyone set off towards The Ben Nevis Visitor Centre so that we could gain access to the mountain’s Pony Trail. We then had an ardous trek taking eight hours for everyone to complete the ascent and descent. It was a foggy climb which meant our visibility was just 50 metres at some points and we saw a good deal of snow near the summit. All 50 people completed this amazing achievement, grouping together and supporting one and another. One of our climbers, Ian Evan, was 35 stone a year ago and he marked the occasion 18 stone lighter BOOOOOOM!!!

The next day we had another 14 hour drive home, exhausted but buzzing from everyone’s accomplishment and a mindset that when the going gets tough all you have to think about is placing one foot in front of the other.. When you want to give up, when your tired, hungry, cold and wet, you find out a lot about yourself. You find out that you are stronger than you first thought!

Mike Kay.

Team Pavelka swims for HOOP

Channel Swim Challenge!

By Gemma Love

Have you ever had a dream?  A dream to take on a crazy challenge, but then forgotten about until you have that light bulb moment?  Well, the amazing team that are swimming the channel this month had just that moment!  I have spoken to Beth Clegg to get her view on the fabulous team work involved.

When Beth took part in the Sky Living documentary Fat: The Fight of My Life, the trainers discovered her love for swimming (up until the age of 11 Beth Swam competitively) and her challenge was to swim 11km along the River Arun and at the end of each programme it says what each person is doing now. Much to Beth’s surprise at the end of the credits of her programme it said “Beth is now planning to swim the Channel”

She got a call from Mike one of the support swimmers suggesting she did the swim as part of a relay and you could join a team, but Beth had other ideas!  She wanted to do this with friends.  First phone call was to Sarah Le Brocq, who also took part in the show and Beth told her what she was thinking, Sarah was in!  Sarah suggested pitching the idea to HOOP so she contacted HOOP Director Jill Tipping. Jill (pictured above) thought it was a fabulous idea but had one condition – only if she could join in – especially as she lives just 7 miles from Dover Harbour!  So the team became three!  Beth asked her sister as she has always been so supportive she was in two minds for a week but then decided to go for it so she could train with Beth.  Sarah asked her friend Fiona and then Mike made it 6! Amazing how mighty oaks come from small acorns. Recently the team have been joined by veteran channel relay swimmer Trisha King who is Team Mum! She’ll be looking after the team as they take on the challenge. Trisha regularly trains with Jill in the sea and completed the challenge when she was just 16.

So training commenced September 2013!

They each do around 3 sessions in the pool every week plus open water swimming to become accustomed to the temperature!  It’s VERY COLD!

They have all had to pass a medical and a 2 hour qualifying swim, which is now complete!

The relay will work by each member of the team swimming an hour at a time, climbing back on the boat and they will keep going until they get there.  It’s really tough conditions swimming against the current at times, so they really have their work cut out.

As the swim gets closer emotions are high!  The team have a really strong bond and support each other every day on the countdown.  Always on the end of the HOOPline!

They have run through everything from putting on their swimming costumes on board, climbing up rope ladders and even checking out the onboard convenience!

I asked Beth if she has learnt anything about herself by taking on this challenge and she says she has learnt she is bossy?  Never Beth!  Passionate……..

So if you’re sitting reading this article thinking I want to do something like this here’s Beth’s advice:

“I used to think I wasn’t capable of doing anything.  But now my head believes I can!  Just do it!”

The team are targeted to raise £6,000 between them and have run two amazing music nights already.  If you want to help these guys reach thier target and help future HOOP UK projects please sponsor the team by going to:


Good Luck team!  You have HOOP UK behind you all the way!