Do Blog

Tackling obesity – can we help Mr Stevens?

September 18th 2014
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The NHS England chief executive, Simon Stevens, said today that if obesity rates keep rising, it could threaten the sustainability of the health service. Meanwhile millions and millions are spent on health education and awareness raising, with the obesity curve going in the wrong direction. Unlike Jason here, whose ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos below are just 1 year apart (more of him later).


So what to do about it?
Most overweight people know the principles. If you eat too many calories or don’t exercise enough, you put on weight. The problem is, we all have a tangle of habits that stop us from changing our daily eating behaviour, and most of us find it really hard to find the willpower to eat less or do more activities.

What’s the answer?
Our mantra is that if you want to get something different, you have to do something different. In their book, The No Diet Diet, our founding Professors of Psychology, Karen Pine and Ben Fletcher layout how, if you break your habits around food and exercise, you can work towards a more healthy weight, one small step at a time.

Pilot study with Hertfordshire Public Health
We’re just coming to the end of pilot project in Hertfordshire in the UK where the local authority has offered Hertfordshire residents Do Something Different programmes as a health intervention. We have yet to publish the final report (coming soon) but the initial findings look very compelling.

Jason’s done it
Meanwhile in a happy coincidence,  Jason, a follower of the ‘No Diet Diet: Do Something Different’ book in China, sent us his story today. If Jason can do it… This in his own words:

“I am Jason from China. I was a fat man with 100KG. When I read Fletcher’s book ‘No Diet Diet’, and do it. Then I learn more healthy knowledge. I changed many behaviour. One years later , I lose my weight for 35KG. Now, I am a handsome man. I want to thank Prof. Fletcher and Prof. Pine. And I want to change the people’s healthy of the world.

“I became fat  from 1987, on my 8 age. I am almost the only one fat guy in my school. I am never want to lose weight until my daughter was born. One day, When I watched my daughter’s face, It’s very cute. I want to company with her for a long long time, even want to see her become a grandmother. So, I must been longevity. The weight is the most important enemy for my longevity.

“So, I want to loss weight. It’s 2012. I have fat for 26 years. and my weight is 103KG. But I am lazy, I don’t want to do exercise. I have no willpower to diet and I don’t want to eat weight-loss pills. I think it’s not good for people.

“I went to library to look for books of losing weight.  I found the book ‘No diet diet’. I felt  very interested, but I didn’t believe it can help me to losing weight like most people. But I borrowed it because it can change my bad behaviour. It’s May, 2012. I did the things follow the book for 2 weeks. I stopped. Some changes happen to me, but not more.

“October 2012. I thought I can’t spend the life like this. So I did the things in No Diet Diet very seriously. I finished it in 28 days. My whole life is changing, very huge. Not only my weight. Weight losing is only a part of the whole change:

  • I did good thing from my heart and not expected nothing in return, So I am very peace and happy
  • I got up early. I got up 7 o’clock now, and I got up at least 10 o’clock before.
  • I don’t want to drink Coca-cola anymore
  • I want to help people, just help
  • I changed my hair style
  • I tried to buy new style clothes
  • I joined a sing contest for the first time
  • I was reported by newspaper for the first time because I told them about my story
  • I was reported by TV for the first time, because I called a phone to invite them to interview me
  • I made a speech in the library for the first time because I called the library to tell them I want to do a speech

“I found many old friends and old classmates. They gave me more help. People who want to lose weight followed me. My classmate of college lose nearly 15KG now. When she visited her friend of publishing, her friend don’t believe do different thing can help her lose weight first. Now her friend asked me to write a book. It’s very interesting.

“My whole life is changed. I wanted to change the world since my young age, but I didn’t know how to do it. Now, I changed myself, and I changed the people who believe me. So, I know, we can change the world. We need your help, because I am not a doctor or psychologist. I am just a man who was very fat and I want to help more and more people can live a healthy life.”

Best regards.

Jason from China, a man who was very fat.





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