Health and weight

Shannon - Interview 11

Female

Brief outline: Shannon is 12 and has been gaining weight since she was very small and has always been a bit bigger than her friends of the same age. She has lost a stone in weight after attending a weight management programme. Ethnic background: White British.

Background: See 'brief outline'.

Audio & video

Shannon is 12 and has been gaining weight since she was very small and has always been a bit bigger than her friends of the same age. Even though her mum kept asking health professionals if they thought there was something wrong, nobody told her their was a problems with Shannon’s weight until she was 5 years old, and then they blamed her. Shannon thinks part of the reason she continued to gain weight was because she was comfort eating after her mum and dad split up and when her nanna died.
 
Shannon says she has been bullied – called names and punched and kicked – by other kids at school. Her mum made a complaint at the school, but Shannon was embarrassed because the teachers told the bullies that she’d told on them, so now she prefers to try to sort it out herself (and if she can’t, she tells her teacher).
 
Shannon has been going to a weight management programme and has lost a stone in weight, taking her weight down to 19 stone. Shannon says she has lost weight by eating less and by doing lots of exercise, like walking her dogs, walking to school, trampolining, and dancing. Although she used to dislike PE, now she enjoys it. She uses a portion plate to help measure out her portions at mealtimes and eats much slower so she gets full sooner. She’s noticed that her clothes are getting too big for her and she needs to buy smaller sizes. Normally, she finds it difficult to buy clothes from the shops she likes because they don’t have her size. Since coming to the programme, she’s also noticed that she’s much more confident.
 
Although she wants to continue trying to lose weight and get fitter, Shannon doesn’t think it’s important to be “mega thin” like the people in magazines, but would like to be just “in-between” like her friends. She believes being either too overweight or too underweight can cause health problems. Shannon is worried about developing diabetes and has to have regular health tests to check whether she is at risk.
 
Shannon has enjoyed attending the weight programme so much, she has recently begun training as a buddy so that she provide support to other young people attending the programme.

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