Health and weight

Messages to health professionals

We asked young people what advice they would give health professionals and other professionals on how to help and support young people who have a problem with their weight. Here is what young people have to say:
Communication and attitude

• Talk to me as a person and don't lecture me.
• Support us.
• Use plain English.
• Be sensitive to our problems and our needs. 
• Pay more attention to the mental health of overweight teenagers and children.
• Provide us with useful advice and information. 
• Take time to listen to us and understand our needs.
• Don’t be condescending towards young people. You are there to help us.
• Be friendly. 
• Be knowledgeable.
• Be sympathetic.
• Don’t be blunt or lose your temper as it could scare us
• But do make sure we understand the health risks of being overweight or obese. 
• Encourage us to achieve little goals at a time.
• Don’t bombard us with information. Leaflets alone are not enough.
• Doctors need to remember that eating disorders affect boys and men too (see our eating disorders section)

Advice and information

• More information and education for young people about the health consequences of being overweight or obese.
• Make young people more aware about anorexia and bulimia.
• Ask us questions that might help us overcome our embarrassment about discussing weight issues.
• Educate and inform us about healthy options so we can understand and help ourselves better.
• Advertise local services for overweight young people at bus stops, in schools and community youth centres.
Services and treatment

• Provide more counselling services for overweight and obese people
• More prevention work is needed. It'll cut down NHS waiting lists in years to come.
• Doctors should visit schools to talk about obesity and healthy living.
• Develop support groups for and by young people
• text young people letting them know where to go for help if affected by weight problems.
• Make sport and exercise facilities free for young people who need to lose weight.

Last reviewed July 2017.
Last updated February 2015.


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