Health and weight

Emily - Interview 13

Female

Brief outline: Emily, 14, found out that her BMI was in the 'obese' category when a Health Bus visited her school and weighed her. Since then, she has been attending a weight management group and has lost over 2 stone. Ethnic background: White British.

Background: See 'brief outline'.

Audio & video

Emily, 14, found out that her BMI was in the “obese” category when a Health Bus visited her school and weighed her. Since then, she has been attending a weight management group and has lost over 2 stone. Having lost weight, she now feels better and has much more confidence. She now receives ongoing help in the ‘maintenance’ group. Emily said she knew that she had a weight problem and had tried to lose weight but found it didn’t work, partly because she didn’t have the willpower. For example, she tried the Atkins diet, but found it difficult to stick to at school and also found it quite boring.
 
Emily thinks she gained weight because she would eat when she felt like it, and didn’t do enough exercise. She says she was shocked when she found out much she weighed. Although Emily and her mum had been to the doctors when she was 11 (and weighed 12 stone), she didn’t find it very helpful. The doctor asked her to fill out a food diary, but she never went back. Emily thinks the doctor didn’t tell her she was overweight because he was worried about upsetting her, but she thinks doctors should be honest with their patients so they don’t go away thinking they haven’t got a problem when they have.
 
Emily says her weight didn’t cause her too many problems, she has been bullied a couple of times because of her weight, and she could do PE (although she tried to get out of it when she could) but when she changed schools and had to climb lots of stairs to her lessons, she realised she had a problem because she got out of breath.
 
Emily doesn’t think it’s important to be thin, but that it is important to be healthy because you will live longer and be happier. She says she feels lucky that she hasn’t developed any problems with her health. She says that your personality, friends and family are more important than the way you look.
 
Since Emily changed her lifestyle, she says her friends and family have started altering their eating habits too, although she says her and her brother sometimes argue because he doesn’t want to change. Emily now goes to the gym and swimming every week, and says the programme has been really good because you get support from other young people in the same situation and she’s made lots of friends.

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