Health and weight

Naz - Interview 35

Age at interview: 17

Brief outline: Three months ago Naz joined a community-based weight management programme; SHINE. She says that this programme has provided her with important information and knowledge about healthy eating and healthy lifestyle. She has started to lose weight and feels more confident. She is going to study fashion design and photography. Ethnic background: Pakistani.

Background: See 'brief outline'.

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Three months ago Naz joined a community-based weight management programme SHINE. She says that this programme has educated her about portion size and the need to exercise regularly. She has started to lose weight and feels more confident. Her goal is to drop several dress sizes.
Her biggest motivation for wanting to lose weight is health. Naz describes herself as bigger than her siblings but says that her parents are overweight and there is a history of diabetes in her family. Naz has eczema due to nickel intolerance and has been told that it may improve if she loses weight. Moreover, doctors suspect that there may be a problem with one of her kidneys but she needs to lose weight before they can scan her again and able to do an accurate diagnosis. She was sent to see a dietician but her experience was not a positive one. Naz didn’t lose any weight then because she feels she didn’t get the help she needed namely a tailored made programme. All she got were leaflets, contact addresses and general suggestions but no one was interested to find out if she understood the information and advice given. Also she got quite infrequent appointments; every six or two months. Naz found the whole experience frustrating and deliberately started missing her appointments. Her advice to health professionals is to give education but in a manner that is possible for young people to understand and not to send them home with leaflets and booklets without much explanation.
Naz experience with the SHINE programme has been a more positive and supportive one and she attributes it to the facilitators’ ability to educate young people about healthy living and other subjects in a way that is easy to understand. She has already completed the induction course and after the summer will start the maintenance one. Since starting the programme Naz’s eating habits have changed' she has reduced her food portions, changed fizzy drink for water or juice and stopped skipping lunch. She also understands the importance of regular exercise. Both of Naz’s sisters are also losing weight and they do trampolining together. Naz has difficulties walking because the eczema affects her feet. As a Muslin girl she prefers to join women’s only exercise session but has found it hard to find such a facility apart from swimming.
Since starting the programme she feels more positive about her body image and has more confidence in her ability to lose weight but feels that you need the support of those around you in order to succeed.
Another motivation for wanting to lose weight and to drop a few clothes sizes is to be able to go shopping for clothes with her sisters.


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