Health and weight

Daniel - Interview 14


Brief outline: Daniel, 14, is into acting and dancing and says he once lost a part because he didn't look right. Daniel has lost 2 stone and now speaks at conferences, helping health professionals to understand about what it's like to be overweight from a child's perspective. Ethnic background: Iranian English.

Background: See 'brief outline'.

Audio & video

Daniel, 14, is into acting and dancing. He says his confidence has really improved since going on a weight management programme and he now auditions for plays and is much happier with himself. He says he once lost a part because he didn’t look right.
Daniel said although he was slightly overweight when he was a child, everyone thought he would grow into his weight, but he didn’t. Daniel experienced some humiliating bullying at school, including having his trousers pulled down in class and photos taken of him getting changed for PE. He says this contributed to him feeling stressed and eating more. He says that once in science class, they had to be weighed and measured, and he felt really scared about being weighed in front of everyone.
Even though Daniel’s father is a chef and made healthy meals at home, Daniel says he was eating outside of the home and if he didn’t get the unhealthy foods he wanted, he would get angry and snappy. Although Daniel says he got a lot of support from his mum, at the end of the day it was down to him to do something about his weight.
When Daniel first started the weight management group, aged 11 and weighing 12 stone, his grandfather died, and he actually gained weight because he was so upset. A year later, he went on a residential trip, which really helped him, and since then, he’s been losing weight and has lost about 2 stone. Daniel says he would like to lose another half stone and then he’ll be happy with himself. Since he’s lost weight, people don’t make so many comments about his size, although some people have noticed he’s lost weight and complimented him – he says that’s been a real boost to his self-esteem.
Daniel says speaking to the counsellor on the programme has also been really helpful because it helped him get things off his chest. He says the counsellor was really helpful and reassuring and helped him think through the best thing for him to do.
Daniel says he’s really glad that he found the weight programme because he was worried about being a percentage in the obesity epidemic, but that losing weight must be your own choice and not forced on you. Daniel has passed on tips to some of his friends and he says this makes him feel really good about them helping them. Daniel has also spoken at conferences, helping health professionals to understand about what it’s like to be overweight from a child’s perspective.


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