Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

You Are Feeling Very Slim: Yard Hiring Hypnotist to Ensure Thinner Blue Line

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

You Are Feeling Very Slim: Yard Hiring Hypnotist to Ensure Thinner Blue Line

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Harper Investigations Reporter

SCOTLAND YARD is set to hire a [pounds sterling]200-an-hour hypnotist in a bid to tackle obesity levels among police officers.

Superintendent Raj Kohli is in talks with a "cognitive hypnotherapist", who describes himself as "Derren Brown without the jazz hands", about a pilot scheme for 20 fat officers in Camden.

Trevor Silvester, 51, helps people lose weight by lulling them into a trance at his surgery in Harley Street or through recordings on special iPods, known as "slimpods", as patients fall asleep.

In one part of Mr Silvester's "Thinking Slimmer" programme, called Lose Those Love Handles, he talks in comforting tones to relax the patient before persuading their "unconscious mind" to stop eating.

The move is the latest by police chiefs to tackle obesity. About five per cent of Scotland Yard police staff are thought to be overweight, nearly 2,000 officers.

Mr Silvester was a sergeant in the Met for 18 years before retraining as a "cognitive hypnotherapist". He told the Standard: "There is a concern within the Met about obesity. It's very difficult to stay fit when you work shift patterns in that kind of environment. They struggle to eat well and take regular exercise.

"Supt Kholi wants to do the hypnotherapy programme. He was blown away by the idea as the Met are on a big health drive at the moment. My methods play on the psychological principle of 'priming' which helps people to make better food choices."

In November 2009, it emerged that 16,000 Scotland Yard officers were offered "fat club" memberships and advised to sign up for a strict fitness regime to get them into shape.

Alison Segal, 38, from Ruislip, claimed she lost 18 pounds in 11 weeks through Mr Silvester's programme. She said: "I don't have to worry about what I'm doing during the day, I just find that I have to eat less. I'm not as hungry as I used to be and it's just changed my life. I don't need to eat cakes, I just don't feel the urge for sweet things, Mr Silvester claimed hypnotherapy is a vital tool in combating the root causes of obesity and warned "quick fix" options such as gastric bands do not solve the problem. …

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