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NHS to hand out 40,000 Fitbits in anti-obesity drive

Fitness classes also on the agenda

Up to 40,000 people a year are to be given free Fitbits on the NHS in a bid to slash their risk of developing diabetes.

The initiative is part of a broader “fat-fighting” programme which the health service hopes will involve 200,000 people a year.

The programme will provide £435-a-head slimming schemes – paid for by the NHS – that offer advice, alongside free cookery and exercise classes. But those who struggle to attend regular appointments will instead get NHS-funded activity trackers, such as Fitbits, to help cut their weight.

As well as using Fitbits, participants will get six weeks of digital healthy living classes.

In pilot trials, seven in ten people referred to the online slimming scheme stayed the course.