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Presentation modality: poster
Nursing care research and long term conditions




REF.: 016
Country: United Kingdom

What can community nursing learn from young peoples' and families' experiences of obesity?
Wills W, Backett-Milburn K, Gregory S, Lawton J
CRIPACC, University of Hertfordshire, College Lane, Hatfield, Herts (UK)

Mail delivery: CRIPACC, University of Hertfordshire, College Lane, Hatfield, Herts, AL10 9AB (UK)

Rev Paraninfo digital, 2007: 2

How to cite this document

Wills W, BackettMilburn K, Gregory S, Lawton J. What can community nursing learn from young peoples' and families' experiences of obesity? Rev Paraninfo Digital, 2007; 2. In: <http://www.index-f.com/para/n2/016.php> Consulted 17 de Agosto del 2022



Objectives: Rates of obesity amongst young people have been rising in the UK and one in four 11-15 year olds is now obese. The medical response has been to individualise the �problem�, blaming young people and their parents for their �fat bodies�. This ignores both the socio-cultural factors which underpin obesity and young peoples� and families� experiences of weight, diet and health. The poster aims to highlight that medical definitions of obesity have little resonance with families� own experiences. It will make recommendations for community nurses working with young people who are obese or at risk of becoming so.
Methods: The poster will draw on findings from a UK qualitative study. Young people from lower socioeconomic groups (aged 13-15) were interviewed about obesity, diet and health. Thirty-six teenagers (18 boys/18 girls) were interviewed (18 overweight/obese and 18 normal weight). In order to explore the family context, parents/carers were also interviewed. Findings were analysed thematically.
Results: Many overweight/obese young people were happy with their weight; they judged whether they were �too fat� by how they looked in comparison to peers. Most did not feel �ill�. Families were often accepting of overweight bodies and disparaging about �thinness�. Obesity and diet were seen by parents as minor concerns against issues such as teenage drinking and smoking.
Conclusions: The findings illustrate that health promotion messages and medical definitions of obesity often have little salience for families from lower socio-economic groups. Community nurses, including those located in schools, are ideally placed to provide a culturally-senstive response to the obesity issue. This could include a �bottom up� approach whereby young people and their families help to define and solve problems associated with overweight. The nursing response needs to include the development and use of appropriate training resources, such as WHO�s �Growing through Adolesence' toolkit.
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