Obesity treatment remains a high global priority. Evidence suggests holistic approaches, which include a religious element, are promising. Most research is from the USA, but recent evidence suggests a need within the UK population. The aim of this study is to explore the feasibility of running and evaluating a Christian-based, healthy, intuitive-eating programme, in a UK church. This is the protocol of a mixed-methods single-group feasibility study of a ten-week programme. The programme focuses on breaking the “diet and weight regain” cycle using principles from intuitive eating uniquely combined with biblical principles of love, freedom, responsibility, forgiveness, and spiritual need. We will recruit at least ten adult participants who are obese, overweight, or of a healthy weight with problematic eating behaviours. Participants can be from any faith or none. Robust measures of physical, psychological and spiritual outcomes will be used. Results are not yet available. Findings will be used to design a cluster-randomised controlled trial to test efficacy through many churches. If weight reduces by a small amount, there will be substantial benefits to public health. With a strong association between obesity and mental-ill health, a holistic intervention is particularly important. Using churches addresses religious and spiritual health, and uses existing social structures and a voluntary workforce that are sustainable and cost-effective.
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- church-based intervention
- feasibility trial