Health and weight

Ursula - Interview 46

Age at interview: 54

Brief outline: Ursula is the mother of 20 year old Hannah and says that Hannah has loved eating ever since she was a baby and she would eat as much as she could of the foods she was given. Her excessive eating hasn't changed in her twenty years.

Background: Ursula is a married mother of 2 children aged 18 and 20. Ethnic background: Caucasian.

Audio & video

Ursula is the mother of 20 year old Hannah and says that Hannah has loved eating ever since she was a baby and she would eat as much as she could of the foods she was given. Her great need to eat hasn’t changed in her twenty years. Ursula describes the family diet as balance and healthy and said that no one is overweight on either side of the family.
When Hannah started school, Ursula remembers that Hannah was the tallest girl but also the widest as well. Finding clothes that would fit her was described by Ursula as a ‘nightmare’. Hannah was five but had the body of a ten year old and everything was too big for her.
When she was about eight or nine years old Ursula took Hannah to the doctors and the GP asked for a food diary. Ursula dully complied with it and after a week returned to see the GP. Ursula remembers that the GP simply couldn’t understand why Hannah was big because she was eating all the right foods. For Ursula, it wasn’t the quality of the diet but the excess of it that was making Hannah becoming overweight. But that was all the medical help she got. Hannah has never seen a dietician.
Ursula recalled several negative and painful events in Hannah’s life when she was a child, like Hannah’s been bullied at school and another when she was ridiculed by others during a swimming lesson. But Ursula also spoke of Hannah’s determination to join in and be like all the other kids. She did ballet and she absolute adored it but as she got older she became self conscious and wouldn’t exercise because others would stare at her in the gym.
Nowadays, Hannah is at university and loves it, has a good group of friends and a busy social life. Regarding lifestyle she has told Ursula that she walks a lot, has an exercise video and is trying to cut down her portion. Ursula says that Hannah knows that she overeats but until now all her attempts to diet have been unsuccessful lasting no more than a couple of days. But according to Ursula Hannah desperately wants to lose weight. Ursula says that Hannah is aware of the health problems caused by being overweight and the impact it has on one’s quality of life. Hannah lost some weight when she first moved away from home to university but put it back up again. Hannah knows that Ursula is not happy to see her being overweight.
Looking back, Ursula says she can identify things that she did that might have contributed to Hannah weight issues. For example, when Hannah was little, Ursula would give her food as a way of pacifying her.


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