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Your questions answered about our new partnership with Slimming World

You may have seen recently that we have partnered with Slimming World. We want to address some questions raised about this partnership and explain how it will support people living with diabetes.  

Why have we partnered with Slimming World? 

On 28 February, we announced a three-year partnership with Slimming World to work together to share expertise on weight loss, long-term eating habits and living with diabetes. 

We know that many people living with diabetes find keeping to a healthy weight a considerable struggle. Around 85% of people with type 2 diabetes and 60% of people with type 1 diabetes live with overweight or obesity. Losing weight can help people with diabetes improve blood sugar levels, as well as bringing other health benefits. 

There are people who prefer the benefits of a programme, such as Slimming World, that provides them with support and guidance to manage weight, as well the chance for members to come together for peer support.  

We are furthering our understanding of diabetes stigma 

We are unapologetically anti-stigma as an organisation. We know that too many people living with diabetes face stigma about their condition, and we are working tirelessly to combat it.

Living with obesity or overweight should not be stigmatised in the way it is in our society, and it is not the fault of the person affected. Our research with people with diabetes has shown how important it is they feel they are treated with respect, and we have been careful to partner with an organisation that shares our values and also feels more needs to be done and is actively working to tackle the stigma associated with obesity and overweight.

Our partnership with Slimming World aims to further deepen our understanding of the stigma that people living with diabetes face – particularly in the context of diet, healthy eating and weight management – and demonstrate our commitment to supporting people living with and at risk of diabetes to manage their weight and live healthier lives. 

Dietary changes and disordered eating 

We are working together with Slimming World to actively support those living with or at risk of developing diabetes, aiming to make healthy dietary changes accessible for everyone.   

Slimming World is an evidence-based weight management programme and is prescribed as an option by the NHS to people who GPs, nurses and other healthcare professionals feel would benefit.

Eating disorders are complex – there is no single reason why someone develops an eating disorder. Beginning any weight management programme can unintentionally contribute to new onset of disordered eating, or development of eating disorders. It is important that people who have a history of disordered eating or eating disorders are identified and provided with tailored support. Anyone concerned should speak to their GP or diabetes team.    

We know that some people with diabetes develop disordered eating and eating disorders, which makes managing diabetes even more challenging. We are at the forefront of funding research to help treat and prevent disordered eating in people with type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. 

What is our approach to partnerships? 

We rely on donations from partners that fund our work across the UK and are thankful to all partners who support our work. However, we only work in partnership with companies and other funding partners where the partnerships directly support our mission.  

Each partnership decision is driven by careful assessment that the benefits of partnership to people living with and at risk of diabetes outweigh the risks. All of our partnerships are subject to rigorous scrutiny through our approvals process, which is informed by our ‘Working with Companies Guidance’. This ensures that all partnerships are consistent with our organisational aims. 

Our overarching partnership priority must contribute to our charitable mission of achieving a world where diabetes can do no harm.

Read more about our partnership with Slimming World.

It is really valuable for us to hear your comments and concerns as this can help us to ensure our work with Slimming World is delivering the support that people with diabetes need. We know there are lots of strong views, strong feelings, and different experiences, and we commit to continuing to listen to you and make your voices heard. 

For more information about our partnership with Slimming World you can ring our helpline with any questions or concerns on 0345 123 2399. 

Lastly, we acknowledge that the timing of this partnership announcement during Eating Disorders Awareness Week was wrong, and we’re sorry about this. It was not our intention to cause upset and we will learn from this when planning our announcements in the future.


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