The Slimming World story
Slimming World was founded in Alfreton, Derbyshire in 1969 by Margaret Miles-Bramwell, who remains the driving force behind the company today.
Margaret had struggled with her own weight since childhood and she understood that people who are overweight carry a double burden — the physical burden of excess weight and the sometimes far heavier burden of shame and self-criticism.
Over the years, so much has changed – and so much has stayed the same. Our founding principles haven’t changed. There’s Food Optimising – our uniquely satisfying way of eating, based on the liberating concept of Free Food. And more importantly, there’s our passion for treating every member with genuine care, empathy and respect – putting them and their success at the heart of everything we do.
Margaret Miles-Bramwell OBE
Margaret’s mission was to create a brand‐new approach to weight management. The programmes at the time relied on hunger, restriction and humiliation, and Margaret had a vision for a positive, practical system of support to help people learn new habits and achieve long-term success. It would be an approach based on freedom from hunger, and freedom from humiliation and guilt. From the first meeting, held in a church hall in Alfreton, to becoming the UK and Ireland’s favourite way to lose weight†, Slimming World has been on an incredible journey over the last 50 years.
Helping slimmers achieve their dreams
Slimming World’s Food Optimising plan is a healthy, flexible approach, based on everyday foods, to help people lose weight without ever going hungry. It’s a practical, family-friendly plan that fits easily into everyday life and doesn’t require complex weighing and measuring or obsessive calorie counting. At the heart of Slimming World are our warm, friendly and motivating weekly groups, designed to empower slimmers to make changes for life. Our groups are where the magic happens — a place to share ideas, inspire and be inspired, make friends, and discover new, healthy lifestyle grooves. The Consultants who run our groups have all been successful members themselves, and they are trained in nutrition and behaviour-change techniques at the Slimming World Academy. Millions of people in the UK and Ireland have attended Slimming World’s community-based groups, and increasing numbers of people are logging on to Slimming World’s digital weight loss programme, Slimming World Online.
Slimming World Online is our digital-only service, here to support you all the way to your dream weight. Our app and website will guide you step-by-step through your Slimming World journey, with weekly weigh-ins, personalised support, healthy recipes, plus you can take part in our motivating live member events and be inspired and inspire others in our Slimming World community. Slimming World Online puts you in control and our expertise and methods, rooted in the science and psychology of slimming, will support and inspire you to make lasting changes for life!
In 2000 Slimming World pioneered the first-ever NHS weight management referral scheme, enabling health professionals to refer overweight patients to Slimming World groups to manage their weight. Slimming World now works in partnership with a range of health providers and we currently have around 90 weight loss referral schemes in place. The cost of these is subsidised by Slimming World. Studies show that NHS patients who are referred lose an average of 4% of their body weight in 12 weeks; this increases to 5.5% for those who attend at least 10 out of the 12 sessions.
The UK’s No.1 slimming magazine
The multi award-winning Slimming World Magazine launched in 1998 and within a year had become the UK’s number one slimming title. Now the fourth most actively purchased magazine in the UK, each issue is packed with tried-and-trusted recipes, expert advice and inspiring real-life stories, offering the very best in weight loss support. Slimming World Magazine is available to buy in all good newsagents and supermarkets, and is sold in our groups at a special reduced price for members.
A healthy start for young people
Childhood obesity is increasing every year in the UK and around one-third of all children are above a healthy weight. At Slimming World we’ve always understood the need for a flexible, family-friendly approach. Because Food Optimising and Body Magic are founded on everyday food and activity, they help members to lay healthy foundations for the whole family that will last a lifetime. In fact, our research shows that 77% of Slimming World members say that, within just three months of joining a group, their children were also eating more healthily – and 41% of our members who’ve embraced Body Magic have encouraged their family to be more active too! To help members take their healthy habits home, we have a special booklet — Family Affair — our guide to family-friendly eating and moving more together.
Supporting women through pregnancy
Working with the Royal College of Midwives to develop its policy, Slimming World is the only national weight management organisation to support women through every stage of their pregnancy – from pre-conception to post-natal care. For pregnant women, the focus is not on weight loss, but on healthy lifestyle changes, with the support of their midwife. Our priority is a happy, healthy mum-to-be!Find out more
Raising money for charity
We launched a charitable foundation, SMILES (Slimmers Making it a Little Easier for Someone), in 1997. In the last seven years, we've raised more than £23 million for a range of charities. Slimming World currently supports Cancer Research UK, Great Ormond Street Hospital and the Irish Cancer Society. Flagship charity events include the Big Slimming World Clothes Throw, where Slimming World members donate clothes they’ve slimmed out of to local Cancer Research UK and Irish Cancer Society shops.