Some people with learning disabilities are overweight. They can find it hard to know what to do to help them lose weight and might not go to fitness centres and slimming clubs, for example Slimming World. So it can be harder for them to get the help and support they need to lose weight.
What we did
Researchers from The University of Sheffield worked with people with learning disabilities and Slimming World to try to make it easier for people with learning disabilities to go to slimming clubs if they want to.
To begin with
We visited groups of people with learning disabilities. We asked them about going to clubs and groups and where they like to get information about healthy living. They told us what made it easy to go to clubs and groups, and what made it hard. They also told us how they like to get information about how to have a healthy lifestyle.
The next step
We talked to people on the phone. Some of the people had learning disabilities and went to Slimming World. Some of them were helpers for people with learning disabilities. And some of them worked for Slimming World. We asked them about going to Slimming World when you have a learning disability.
We talked to Slimming World about what people told us and they made an Easy Read Slimming World book with a simpler eating plan to help people with learning disabilities to know what to do to lose weight. They also made a letter to helpers. It told them how to help someone with learning disabilities who wanted to lose weight with Slimming World.
Trying it out
We asked people with learning disabilities to try out the new Easy Read book and simpler eating plan. We also gave their helpers the letter about how to help someone at Slimming World. We asked the people who used the Easy Read book, their helpers and the people who worked for Slimming World what worked well and what could be done better.
What we found
All the people who stayed at Slimming World for 8 weeks lost weight. All of these people wanted to keep going after the project finished. They said the Easy Read book and simpler eating plan helped them know what to do to lose weight. It also made them feel included at Slimming World.
Some people wanted to go to a slimming club just for people with learning disabilities so they did not want to go to Slimming World.
Carers told us the Easy Read book was helpful for them, too.
All the people we talked to gave us ideas about how to make the Easy Read book and the letter for helpers even better.
Who paid for this?
The project was paid for by the Medical Research Council. They are a government organisation that pays for health research.