Channel 4 team to follow ‘sugar-free’ volunteers
Monday 2nd July 2018 @ 16:59 by Nigel Skinner
Hyde News Tameside

The Reporter and Chronicle and Tameside Radio are throwing our weight behind a major health initiative ‘first’ aimed at tackling the growing problem of obesity.

To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the NHS next week, Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust is setting everyone a 70 day challenge – by cutting back on the amount of sugar in your diet for 70 days – with the ultimate aim of eliminating sugar from your diet completely!

A special symposium to launch the challenge takes place on Wednesday, July 4, at Hyde Town Hall from 1pm till 4pm.

The Reporter and Chronicle have a limited number of seats available for the symposium – to check availability and to register for the Ditching the Sugar symposium go to

The initiative is a UK and world ‘first’ – poised to make national headlines and already has the backing of a number of celebrities from the likes of Jamie Oliver, Sarah Cox and even tennis star Pat Cash.

You can view Sara Cox’s and Pat Cash’s good luck messages on our Facebook page.


TV SPOTLIGHT: Sandra Roycroft-Davis with Dr Xand van Tulleken at Tameside Hospital.

Twenty Tameside volunteers are poised to give sugar the heave-ho while recording their efforts for Channel 4’s award-winning programme How to Lose Weight Well.

The TV team – presenter Dr Xand van Tulleken and Sandra Roycroft-Davis, a Harley Street weight loss specialist who created the Slimpod programme, have visited Tameside Hospital to sign up the volunteers.

You can read the story of three health workers who have signed up for the challenge below.

Last year more than 100 volunteers from Tameside Hospital signed up for the Slimpod programme, a clinically proven system that gently retrains the mind to change how people think and feel about food and their body image.

Chief Executive Karen James wanted to see if improvements to the health and weight of her staff would also demonstrate a knock-on benefit for patients.

Almost all the consultants, midwives, community nurses and medical support secretaries who took part in the project reported health improvements and benefits.

By following the clinically proven Slimpod programme, they reduced their portion sizes, ate healthier foods and lost weight.

The most successful person on the study lost 13.1kg over the 12 weeks, and one who had been chronically diabetic now has the condition under control.

It led to changes in the hospital restaurant and put Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust in the media spotlight.

The TV producers were looking for 20 volunteers, healthcare professionals who are overweight (ie have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 or over) to focus on how much their health and mental wellbeing can improve in just 12 weeks by using the Slimpod programme and by cutting down or cutting out sugar.

Sandra Roycroft-Davis said: “It’s important to know that this is not a race or competition. People progress at different rates because everyone is different.

“There is no specific weight loss goal for the project – we want to know about how the programme is changing the way people eat, how their energy levels are being affected and any other health benefits they’re experiencing, for example feeling less stressed.

“The changes to eating habits come first and the weight loss follows.”

Sandra, along with leading cardiologist and author Dr Aseem Molhotra, will be guest speakers at the Ditching the Sugar afternoon symposium at Hyde Town Hall on Wednesday, July 4, 2018.

You can go on line to register at or by contacting Susan Osborne on 07836 229208.


Trio are up for the challenge

SLIMPOD SPIRIT:  From left to right Sarah, Angela and Elaine.

Meet three of Tameside Hospital’s finest who are among the first to sign up to lose weight, improve their health and generally feel better.

They plan to do it by ditching sugar, eating more healthily, gentle exercise and using the Slimpod method of unconscious persuasion and the best of the Pioppi diet. And boy are they determined.

Between them they want to lose almost 12 stones, and like 20 other Tameside Hospital staff have agreed to take part in the Channel 4 programme How To Lose Weight Well.

Elaine Grainger is a Community Clinical Skills Educator with a background in intensive care nursing.

She’s 58, mum to three daughters and lives in Ashton with her partner.

She’s 15 stones at the moment but would like to be 11 if possible.

“A comfortable size 16 is what I’m after and to not be out of breath. We have a big family wedding coming up next spring and it would be great to have achieved it for that. I’ve a lot of faith that I will. Watch this space.”

Sarah Moody is a Gastroenterology Nurse Specialist and lives in Stalybridge with her husband and dog. She’s 46 and weighs almost 19 stones and wants to loose six.

“I’ve been there so many times. I lose weight only to pile it back on again. I like how I look at 13 stones and my body feels best at that weight. I love a glass of wine after work. This prompts me to eat more. Disaster.”

Angela Schofield is 48, lives in Ashton and works in A&E as an admin assistant. She’s married with three children and two grandchildren and cant decide if it’s chocolate or crisps that’s the problem.

“I’m 15 stone and ideally would like to lose 21 pounds. I’ve tried dieting before but this seems to be mind over matter and I’m open to that. I’m up for the challenge.”

Like the other 17 volunteers, Elaine, Sarah and Angela have promised that they will keep a diary of changes in eating habits they notice during the 12-week experiment, join the special facebook group and listen every day to the Slimpod messages. And Sarah will be at the DITCH SUGAR! Symposium to report on her progress.


Sam speaks up to Ditch the sugar

One of the speakers at the Ditch Sugar! Symposium which will take place on July 4, at Hyde Town Hall is Sam Axon, a 50-year old mum of two from Denton (pictured).

Sam had tried every diet under the sun from the cabbage diet to the cornflakes diet.

But she used to lose a little but then put it all back on.

“The more I kept eating biscuits the more the weight went on but listening to a Slimpod for nine minutes every night has changed all that.

“There’s no danger of me eating chocolate biscuits while I’m sitting in front of Corrie any more!

“The transformation in me has been incredible. I was a size 18 going on 20, now I’m in size 10 clothes and I’ve lost over 60lbs because my eating habits have changed completely.

“My shopping trolley’s now full of fresh fruit and veg and it’s totally different to the way I used to shop.”

It was five years ago that Sam first started Slimpod and her life has changed in other ways she could never have imagined.

Now a black belt in freestyle martial arts and a brown belt in karate and kickboxing, with her nine-year old son Bobby, she was chosen to fly the flag for Team GB in the World Karate Championships in Scotland this month.

Both are members of the Senshi Kai Karate Club, which is based in Dukinfield.

Sam got bronze and Bobby’s team narrowly missed out on a medal.

Sam explains: “Since the weight’s gone everything in my life has dropped into place. My energy is now sky high. I never sit down.

“It’s great for Bobby too. We do our karate and kickboxing training together.

“How brilliant that we get to compete and represent our country in a sport that we both love – and I owe it all to Slimpod.”