Swindon's Slimming World consultants have been named the organisation's district of the year at the Slimming World Virtual Oscars 2020.
The news comes as Slimming World announces being nominated a partner in the NHS Better Health campaign, one of the Government's raft of measures to tackle obesity.
The virtual awards ceremony was hosted by Slimming World founder Margaret Miles-Bramwell OBE, Chief Executive Officer Caryl Richards and joint Managing Directors Lisa Salmon and Jan Boxshall.
It was the first year that the event took place virtually - a response to the pandemic.
Rebecca Martin, a Slimming World consultant and team developer from East Swindon, said: “Obesity is a huge topic in the news at the moment, with evidence showing that carrying extra weight makes it harder for the body to fight covid-19.
"The NHS Better Health initiative is a campaign that provides an opportunity for the nation to reset and introduce healthy lifestyle changes.
"It’s great that the Government has committed to helping people to lose weight and improve their health, and as a Slimming World consultant currently supporting over over 150 members through our virtual sessions each week, I know how truly life-changing being at a healthy weight can be for someone - and for their whole family too, because we know when people learn healthy habits around food and activity those changes impact those around them too.”
Fellow consultant Vicky Watts said: “One thing is for sure - in my three years as a consultant and as someone who has lost weight myself, I’ve learned that supporting people to lose weight is more than restricting unhealthy foods, banning adverts or simply telling people they should exercise more.
"We at Slimming World have always recognised that those who struggle with their weight need to be treated with compassion, understanding and care, and as well as the tools to make changes, people need support to make them and keep them up - whatever life throws their way.
"So we don’t tell, restrict or shame our members into action. We support, we share and we care. And it works!”
An Upper Stratton consultant, Dawn, added: “There is no better time to start afresh when it comes to developing new lifelong healthy habits around food and activity, so I’d encourage anyone thinking of making the most of the current ‘reset’ moment in time to join slimming World.
"Here losing weight isn’t about going hungry, and moving more doesn’t need to be running marathons - unless you want to, of course.
“We know support is key when it comes to managing a healthy weight, and we share our highs and lows together.
"And, as many of the members of my groups have seen, when you lose weight you’re already doing one of the best things you can to future-proof your health for life.”
The NHS recently revealed that obese people are more likely to die from covid-19.
Analysis of 17,000 NHS admissions found that death rates were almost 40 percent higher in patients with a BMI over 30. Another study has shown that 48 percent of people say they have put on weight during lockdown, and it has been estimated that an average person has gained about a stone.
Slimming World branches across Swindon are reopening.
More information about Slimming World can be obtained at www.slimmingworld.co.uk or by contacting Rebecca on 07816 281940.