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Friday, 9 March, 2001, 01:18 GMT
'How obesity drug helped me'
Jenny Sandford
The Xenical drug can help beat obesity
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence has decided that the obesity drug Xenical can be prescribed free on the NHS for the seriously obese.

The decision will have wide implications for NHS funding as about half the population in England and Wales is either obese or over weight.

The BBC talked to one woman whose life and health have been changed by Xenical.

Jenny Sandford was five stone overweight at 16 stone.

A diabetes sufferer she was very worried about her health and advised by her doctor to slim down.

Jenny, who comes from Aberdeen, tried slimming club after slimming club and diet after diet, but found none of them worked.

After two weeks of diet attempts she would throw in the towel and her weight would start to creep up again.

It is not a miracle cure. You have to eat a low fat diet as well.

Jenny Sandford

But Xenical offered her a new hope and the promise of an end to her obesity.

When her doctor told her she would have to show she could diet to get the drug she knuckled under and lost half a stone.

Now 15 months on she is over three stone lighter and is still hoping to lose another two stone.

No miracle cure

But she says Xenical is not a "miracle cure" and must be taken alongside sensible diet and exercise.

"It is not a miracle cure. You have to eat a low fat diet as well. But certainly a low fat diet combined with the tablets can help lose weight.

"I have found it personally very successful.

"I now walk a lot and swim and I exercise probably twice a week or more," she said.

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