Obesity management programme short-listed for national award

An obesity management programme led by the Centre for Obesity Research and Epidemiology (CORE) at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, has been short-listed in The Impact Awards, organised by PraxisUnico.

‘Counterweight’ provides an education and mentoring programme for practice nurses to upscale their knowledge and skills in the management of obesity. Staff in the programme are supported for up to a year by weight management advisors who have been specially trained in obesity management, and who form the Counterweight team in primary practice. Counterweight is also being delivered in the workplace and in the community, as well as through primary care centres.

The highly successful programme has beaten off stiff competition to be short-listed for the Public Policy and Service Impact Award. The team will find out if they have won at The Impact Awards ceremony, to be held at the PraxisUnico Conference Gala dinner on 16 June in Nottingham.

Professor Iain Broom, Director of CORE, said, “We are absolutely delighted that our entry has been short-listed in these prestigious awards. Counterweight has proved profoundly successful, with 40% of patients entered in the programme in the pilot health boards of Lothian, Tayside and Lanarkshire losing more than 5% of their body weight. This has major implications for health spending, as it reduces the risk of developing Type II diabetes alone by 50%.

“These awards recognise the substantial cost savings and cost avoidances associated with the programme. Indeed, a health economic analysis carried out by the York Health Economics Consortium demonstrated that it was cheaper for the NHS to implement Counterweight than do nothing at all.”

Professor Peter Robertson is Vice-Principal and Pro Vice-Chancellor at Robert Gordon University, responsible for research and innovation. He commented, “The University is delighted about the achievement of the Counterweight team in being short-listed for this noteworthy award. This is a real demonstration of how the University’s research and knowledge exchange activities can have real impact on society.”

The judging panel was led by Dr David Owen, who said, “The panel has been exposed to some great innovations that in many cases have clear market potential. Other entries have less market potential, but have important societal or economic drivers. The projects we have seen are the foundations of our knowledge economy.”

For more information on The Impact Awards visit

Note to editors:

PraxisUnico is a not-for-profit educational organisation set up to support innovation and commercialisation of public sector and charity research for social and economic impact.

Pauline Smith
Communications Officer
Robert Gordon University
Communications Office
AB10 1FR

T: 01224 262389