Weight Matters: Strengths-based Coaching for Weight Literacy Erasmus Project

General information for the Weight Matters: Strengths-based Coaching for Weight Literacy Erasmus Project

Weight Matters: Strengths-based Coaching for Weight Literacy Erasmus Project
July 7, 2020 12:00 am

Project Title

Weight Matters: Strengths-based Coaching for Weight Literacy

Project Key Action

This project related with these key action: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices

Project Action Type

This project related with this action type : Strategic Partnerships for adult education

Project Call Year

This project’s Call Year is 2017

Project Topics

This project is related with these Project Topics: Health and wellbeing

Project Summary

Weight Matters is a consortium of 5 partners from UK, Malta, Italy & Greece which brings together experts in mentoring, coaching and nutrition, to share expertise and best practice to improve methodologies of supporting and promoting weight literacy in adults.
Weight Matters came into being as a result of initial research which brought the international obesity crisis to our attention. The world is in the grip of an obesity crisis. Here in Europe, in 2012, over half (52%) of our adult population was overweight (30 – 70%) or obese (10 – 30%), and the figures continue to rise. Obesity has doubled over the past 20 years in many Member States, with big variations between countries. People in lower socioeconomic groups are more likely to be obese. More than a million people die each year because of obesity-related diseases in the WHO European region.
Research also showed that there is a significant relationship between obesity and socio-economic status. The WHO health policy framework for Europe: Health 2020 looks at the links between social exclusion, socioeconomic groups and obesity. The related policy guide, states that, “low socioeconomic groups appear to be around two times more likely to become obese,” and also that “there is a strong relationship between obesity and low socioeconomic status, especially for women.”
Given this context, Weight Matters has focused its activities on people from lower socioeconomic groups who are normally at risk of social and health exclusion. The project, has developed a new adult education approach to weight loss and control and has piloted effective ways to manage and cope with the challenges of living in an obesogenic environment. Weight Matters offers a unique set of solutions, with strengths-based coaching at its core, to support adults to develop their own weight literacy, and learn to shift their mind-sets in order to manage weight loss.
Throughout the project, we have worked with over 300 adults who wish to lose weight and live healthier lifestyles, many of whom were from a low socio-economic background. Through our resources and sustainability work, we will continue to help that number grow. We have completed the following main activities:
1/ A Weight Matters Framework Report: Mapping Coaching & Mentoring Skills to Support Weight Literacy.
2/ Development of the Weight Matters Training Programme, including the delivery of the programme as pilots in the UK, Malta, Italy and Greece with 176 participants.
3/ Development of Weight Free Groups/Health Mentoring Circles, including the delivery of the groups as pilots in the UK, Malta, Italy and Greece with 121 participants.
4/ Development of a Weight Matters eLearning Platform, providing access to online training modules, a ‘coaching app’ and a range of other features which can support adults to develop better weight literacy and understand positive psychology techniques which can help them on their journey to weight loss.
5/ A Weight Matters eGuide: Strategies for Weight Literacy and Healthy Living.
The project has been successful in working directly with the main target group of adults wishing to lose weight, especially focusing on adults from lower socio-economic backgrounds. We have provided training and mentoring support to over 300 adults during the lifetime of the project (both face-to-face and online).
Weight Matters offers a more sustainable model to weight loss support, empowering people to manage their own weight by learning innovative Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and positive psychology techniques to motivate themselves. Participants are encouraged to change their mind sets in relation to weight literacy and embed these new ways of thinking by using their newly-learned techniques on their own or in friendship groups. This is supported by the inclusion of ‘Weight Free Groups’/’Health Mentoring Circles’ which help people to set specific goals linked to weight loss or healthy living and provide peer and facilitator support to achieve these. Feedback from participants shows that Weight Matters successfully supported its pilot participants in these areas. Following the 1st pilots:
• 100% of respondents had made concrete changes to their lifestyle;
• 75% of respondents listed physical activity as a key change they had made to their lifestyle;
• 75% of respondents mentioned a change of mindset;
• 50% of respondents stated changes they had made to the way they eat.
“I am better mentally and physically”
“Being part of a support group helps self-improvement”
“[I have learned] I should love my body and not punish myself”
“With these exercises I will improve my lifestyle and reduce anxiety and stress”
All the materials and resources produced by the Weight Matters project are freely available online (www.weightmatters.eu) and our online platforms will continue to be maintained after the project so adults who wish to lose weight, or professionals working in this field, can continue to access and benefit from them.

EU Grant (Eur)

Funding of the project from EU: 229362,5 Eur

Project Coordinator


Project Partners

  • National Association of Dietitians (ANDID)