National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)
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Preventing obesity: a whole-system approach: call for evidence

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has been asked by the Department of Health to develop guidance on Preventing Obesity: whole systems approach at local and community level. This guidance is due to be published in March 2012.

The guidance is being developed in line with the final scope.

A series of evidence reviews and an economic analysis are being conducted to address the key questions that are set out in the scope.

We would like to receive any research or local information that could contribute to these reviews, particularly in relation to the following key questions:

  • What are the essential elements of a robust, community-based, whole-system approach to preventing obesity?
  • How do local and national policy impact on the effectiveness, cost effectiveness and sustainability of local action to prevent obesity? Are there any unintentional consequences (such as conflicting policies)?
  • What ‘packages’ of actions and strategies may be effective and cost effective in bringing about population-wide improvements in weight management within a given community? 
  • What barriers and facilitators may influence the implementation and effectiveness of these ‘packages’ of actions and strategies among a given community? Who are the essential partners (formal and informal)?
  • What factors need to be considered to ensure the programme is robust and sustainable (for example, is public opinion important, is the sequence, phasing and timing of actions and strategies important)?

We are interested in a broad range of different types of information, including natural experiments (such as studies on changing transport policies), local process and evaluation reports, scrutiny reports, community plans or strategy reports and local or national government reports, alongside more traditional quantitative and qualitative evidence.

We are particularly interested in building up a picture of local obesity systems and so would also welcome receiving any documents mapping out the local systems in relation to obesity or other public health issues (such as smoking or alcohol). Please note that we intend to take a broad view of the obesity system and will not just be focusing on the NHS – we are also interested in all (directly or indirectly) relevant local strategies, action, barriers and facilitators. As highlighted in the scope, the following elements – and how they interact – may be considered:

  • locally implemented strategies, plans and initiatives aimed at preventing obesity
  • community or NHS-based services and delivery systems (including, for example, local area agreements)
  • partnership working (between, for example, primary care, local authorities, local community organisations and local businesses)
  • education systems
  • the natural and built environment
  • food systems
  • transport systems
  • wider influences, such as the local and national media
  • training and development for those involved in local efforts to prevent obesity.

If you wish to submit relevant unpublished information or research, please can you highlight which sections are confidential by using a highlighter pen or the highlighter function in word. Please refer to section 4.4 of the Process Manual for further information on submissions of confidential material.

The only type of material we are not interested in is unsubstantiated or non evidence based opinion / discussion pieces or promotional material.

We’d be grateful if you could send any relevant evidence details by 5.00pm on 29 April 2010.

We would prefer to receive electronic or paper copies, but will also accept bibliographic record or full reference details. Please send details in the attached comments form to

Please ensure that permission from the copyright holder has been obtained prior to sending us any paper or electronic copies. 

Paper copies can be sent to:

Palida Teelucknavan
Project coordinator, Centre for Public Health Excellence
National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence
Mid City Place, 71 High Holborn,
London, WC1V 6NA

We look forward to receiving information on this and thank you in advance for your help.