Special advisory panel

Slimming World’s special advisory panel brings together leaders in a range of obesity and behavior change disciplines, including nutrition, physical activity, psychology, child health, and public health. The eminent panel members include:

Paul Sacher, PhD, RD

Paul Sacher, PhD, RD—As well as Paul’s role as USA Chief Research and Development Officer, he also plays a role in advising Slimming World U.K. As co-founder and Science Director of MEND (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition…Do it!), the largest and most well-evaluated international family-based weight management service, Paul is well-placed to offer strategic advice in areas including weight management in young people. He's part of a wider research project team leading on Slimming World’s participation in the EU Horizon 2020 funded project. This large research trial aims to develop and evaluate a multi-country, digital weight maintenance solution.

Graham Thomas – Brown University and the Miriam Hospital

Graham Thomas, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University and the Weight Control & Diabetes Research Center of The Miriam Hospital.

His research is focused on the use of technology for measuring and intervening on health behaviors, with an emphasis on obesity and related conditions.

Dr. Thomas has been awarded grants from the NIH and industry sponsors to use a variety of electronic health (eHealth) and mobile health (mHealth) technologies in his research. Some examples of these technologies include virtual reality, mobile sensor networks, and mobile analytics, which are frequently applied within the contexts of Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) and Just-in-time Adaptive Intervention (JITAI).

Dr. Thomas most often conducts research with patients losing weight via behavioral lifestyle intervention or bariatric surgery. Dr. Thomas is currently Chair of The Obesity Society eHealth/mHealth Section. He is also a research mentor within the Brown University Clinical Psychology Training Consortium and the T32 in Cardiovascular Behavioral Medicine research training at the Brown University Centers of Behavioral and Preventive Medicine (CBPM) and The Miriam Hospital.

Hollie Raynor – University of Tennessee

Hollie Raynor, PhD, RD, LDN, is a Professor in the Department of Nutrition at the University of Tennessee. She holds a MS in Public Health Nutrition and a PhD in Clinical Psychology, and is a registered dietitian and a licensed psychologist. 

She conducts research in lifestyle interventions for pediatric and adult weight management, has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles, and has received funding from the National Institutes of Health, American Diabetes Association, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation, and Weight Watchers, Int, for her research. 

She serves as a member of the National Committee for Clinical Guidelines for Obesity for the American Psychological Association and has served as a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ (AND’s) Prediabetes Evidence Analysis Library Committee. Her research interests are on identifying best methods to implement dietary factors that enhance satiation (i.e., limiting variety, reducing energy density, shifting distribution of energy intake earlier in the day), and translating lifestyle intervention into practice-based settings (i.e., primary care).  

​Melanie Hingle – University of Arizona

Melanie Hingle, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D.N., is a nutrition scientist and public health researcher with more than a decade of experience in design, development, conduct, and evaluation of family-focused interventions for the prevention of metabolic disease in children, adolescents, and young adults.

She has expertise in qualitative research methods, assessment of dietary intake, physical activity, and body composition, and she is a recognized for her work in wireless and networked technologies and their application to modeling, measuring, and modifying dietary intake and related behaviors.​

Dr. Hingle has led or co-led several local, national, and international groups engaged in e/mHealth scholarship, including The University of Arizona's mHealth Special Interest Group (Chair, 2013-15), The Obesity Society's e/mHealth Section (Chair, 2015-16), The International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity's e/mHealth Special Interest Group (Steering Committee, 2014-2017). 

Dale Bond – Miriam Hospital and Brown Alpert Medical School

Dr. Dale Bond is an Associate Professor (Research) of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at The Miriam Hospital and Brown Alpert Medical School. He received M.S. and PhD degrees in Health Promotion and Education at Purdue University and the University of Utah, respectively, and completed postdoctoral training in behavioral medicine at Brown Alpert Medical School.  

His research involves 2 principal areas: 1) use of mobile health (mHealth) technologies to assess and intervene on physical activity and sedentary behaviors within the context of obesity and bariatric surgery; and 2) the role of obesity, physical activity and dietary behaviors, psychosocial characteristics, and weight loss in migraine. Dr. Bond has been awarded several grants from NIH and other organizations to conduct prospective studies and randomized trials pursuant to advancement of these areas. 

He also sits on the editorial boards for multiple obesity-related journals, is a member of several American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and Obesity Society (TOS) committees, serves on the NIH Behavioral Interventions and Outcomes study section, and is a research mentor within the NHLBI T32 Postdoctoral Training in Cardiovascular Behavioral Medicine Program at The Miriam Hospital and Brown University.

UK Special Advisory Panel

Dr. William Bird MBE—William is a general practitioner with a special interest in the promotion of outdoor physical activity and the Founder and Chief Executive at Intelligent Health.

Professor Judith Buttriss—An experienced nutrition scientist and a registered Public Health Nutritionist, Judith is director of the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF).

Professor Ken Fox—Ken is Emeritus Professor of Exercise and Health at the University of Bristol and has served a specialist advisor to the Government on physical activity, behavior change, and obesity, and helped Slimming World to develop its Body Magic activity program.

Professor Andy Hill—Andy is a Chartered Psychologist and Professor in the Academic Unit of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Leeds University School of Medicine.

Professor Mike Kelly—Former Director of the Centre for Public Health at the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE), Mike holds the positions of Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.

Jennifer Percival—A qualified nurse, midwife, health visitor, and person-centered counselor, Jennifer has provided expert advice to the Department of Health, Open University, Royal College of Nursing and hospital and community trusts, advising on public health issues such as smoking cessation, weight management, motivational interviewing and effective behavior change support. 

Professor James Stubbs—Professor of Appetite and Energy Balance at the University of Leeds, U.K. James’s core expertise and 25 years research experience is in appetite science, nutrition, exercise, and energy balance, incorporating body composition, human behavior, physiology and psychology of food intake, diet composition, and obesity. He has worked with Slimming World for many years to develop and provide research expertise to support further development of the program.