The Well Now course: a service evaluation of a health gain approach to weight management

Fiona Clarke, Daryll Archibald (Lead / Corresponding author), Valerie McDonald, Sara Huc, Christina Ellwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
108 Downloads (Pure)


Background: The Well Now health and weight course teaches body respect and health gain for all. The course validates peoples’ lived experiences and knowledge through group activities and discussion with the aim of helping people to better understand their food and body stories. Well Now explores different ways of knowing, including the use and limits of body signals, like energy levels, hunger, taste and emotions and helps people keep food and behaviours in perspective by drawing attention to other factors that impact on health and wellbeing. This study undertook a service evaluation of the Well Now course to understand its acceptability for participants and its impact on diet quality, food preoccupation, physical activity and mental wellbeing.

Methods: This service evaluation combined quantitative pre- and post-course measures with telephone interviews with previous attendees. Paired t-tests were used to determine if there were statistically significant differences in the intended outcomes. Semi-structured qualitative telephone interviews were undertaken with previous attendees 6-12 months after attendance to understand how participants experienced the Well Now course.

Results: Significant improvements were demonstrated in diet quality, food preoccupation, physical activity and mental wellbeing outcomes. Medium effect sizes are demonstrated for mental wellbeing and diet quality, with smaller effect sizes shown for physical activity and food preoccupation. The weight and Body Mass Index (BMI) of attendees remained stable in this timeframe. The qualitative data corroborates and extends elements of the quantitative outcomes and highlights areas of the course that may benefit from further development and improvement. The findings further indicate that the Well Now approach is largely acceptable for attendees.

Conclusions: Well Now’s non-judgemental holistic approach facilitates change for those who complete the course, and for those who do not. This health gain approach upholds non-maleficence and beneficence, and this is demonstrated with this service evaluation for both completers and partial completers.
Original languageEnglish
Article number892
Number of pages13
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2021


  • Public Health
  • Obesity
  • Healthy Weight
  • Non-diet approach
  • Service Evaluation
  • Health at Every Size (HAES)
  • Healthy weight
  • Service evaluation
  • Public health
  • Health at every size (HAES)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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