The new Howard’s Way centre, in Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, was officially opened – on 24th February – by Dorothy Thornhill, the elected Mayor of Watford. She commented: “From what I’ve heard today, Howard’s Way can bring life-changing happiness – and I hope that its new Centre will enable it to do that for people in the Watford and Croxley areas.”
Speaking at the launch, Penelope Howard, an expert in the field of obesity and head of Howard’s Way, said: “Since I started Howard’s Way in July 1997, we’ve enabled over 2,000 patients to lose over three stones in weight each. During this time not one person has ever become ill as a result of being on the programme.”
Penelope went on to stress that Howard’s Way:
- helps patients lose all the weight they want to lose
- keeps them fit and healthy while they do so
- re-educates them on the properties; values and dangers of foods for their future weight management
- is ‘here’ for them, offering free support and guidance for life
“As a result,” she continued, “we make a dent in the nation’s obesity figures; we’re a viable alternative to bariatric surgery, and we save the NHS money by reducing the demand for obesity-related medication or surgery.”
Howard’s Way has had a failure rate of just two per cent over the years – and those who drop out of the programme tend to do so in the first week, suggesting that they were not committed to the programme.
At the launch, Dave Abernethy revealed that, according to an NHS Information Centre for Health and Social Care report, published last February: in 2007, 24 per cent of adults (aged 16 or over) in England were classified as obese. This was an overall increase from 15 per cent in 1993.
Today, according to some sources, some 45 per cent of Britain’s population is classed as ‘obese’.
“Predictions from a Government agency suggest that the cost to the UK of the ‘obesity epidemic’ will treble to £50 billion a year by 2050 unless urgent action is taken,” he added.
“Obesity is not just a ‘cosmetic’ issue. Obesity has been shown to increase the risks of contracting a range of conditions including high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, diabetes, cancer and sleep apnoea.
“So, preventing – and countering – obesity is a medical issue which has benefits for both the obese and for the NHS,” Dave said. “Moreover, if we can reduce the burden on the NHS – both in resources and monetary terms – caused by the treatment of the obese, we can reduce the burden on the taxpayer.”
Howard’s Way’s approach to combating Britain’s expanding waistlines and growing obesity problem is to sign up obese patients to a join a group of dieters on a 12-week VLCD programme. During that time, each patient, typically, loses three stones in weight.
“Once they join a group, they come along to one of our centres – such as the one in Croxley Green – at least five times a week for the first week and then twice a week for four weeks,” said Penelope. “They also receive 24 hour phone support throughout the 12 weeks of their diet.
“No one who is overweight has chosen to be so. Their weight is the undesirable net result of bad choices,” she continued.
“In our efforts to treat our obese patients we have two goals,” she said.
“We want to teach them about nutritional values of food; how to see past misleading advertising on food; how their bodies use different foods, and which foods – such as white sugar – are likely to have an addictive quality about them. Secondly, we want to keep them nutritionally supported and healthy while they shed their excess weight at the rate of 14 to 21 pounds every four weeks while they are on the programme.”
Two of Howard’s Way’s former patients – Kelly Whistance, 23, and Shelley Williams, 32 – who have lost four stones and nine and a half stones respectively, provided insights into the programme. Kelly, a trainee solicitor, said: “I went down three dress sizes in 16 weeks and I now feel ‘amazing’. I’m more confident and happy – and I’m proud that I have achieved my goal.
“Physically, emotionally and mentally, enrolling on the programme was a bit of a shock to the system. The programme involved a steep learning curve – about such things as food addiction – but I received some terrific support form the Howard’s Way locums.
“I also received a great deal of encouragement from my GP, who was glad that I was doing something positive about my weight,” she added.
Shelley, an osteopath, stated: “I’d been on other diets but I found the Howard’s Way diet was the easiest of them all – principally because I received individual and personal help. The Howard’s Way staff are genuinely interested in each patient – as a person – and that’s a great help in giving you the motivation to succeed.
“Now that I have lost my excess weight I can be much more active,” added Shelley who, among other things, is scheduled to climb Ben Nevis in the summer.
Howard’s Way’s new centre, in New Road, Croxley Green, has become the organisation’s headquarters. Howard’s Way’s other Weight Loss Centres are in Stanmore, Luton & Dunstable, and Victoria, in London.
About Howard’s Way VLCD
Penelope Howard had worked with obese patients and a very low calorie diet (VLCD) for some five years before she founded Howard’s Way in 1998.
Those enrolling on the Howard’s Way VLCD initially agree to an 18 week programme involving regular meetings twice weekly for the first four weeks, then once a week from there on. For the ‘Distance Dieter’ these meetings are replaced with one-to-one ‘support calls’ every week. In addition, Howard’s Way staff try to speak to those beginning the diet for at least five minutes a day to provide vital ‘moral’ support.
Howard’s Way recognises that the hardest struggle is maintaining lost weight. So, while dieting, all patients are talked through weekly handouts to gain knowledge and understanding on the workings of their body and the effects of eating certain foodstuffs. Additionally, Howard’s Way Maintenance support is ‘free of charge for life’ for all our dieters.
The Howard’s Way VLCD comprises specially formulated foods, in the form of: milk shakes; soups; and fruit bars; containing the full complement of vitamins, minerals, protein and essential fatty acids that an adult requires but restricting the calorific intake, to induce a state of ‘mild dietary ketosis’ after day three of the diet.
Further information from:
Penelope Howard: + 44 (0)1923 773851 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Little, Bob Little Press & PR: +44 (0)1727 860405 / email@example.com