Shock fat-shaming statistic: more must be done to understand human cost of obesity

Hoop UK Lesley McCormackTwo years on from an article in the British Journal of Obesity which uncovered the devastating ‘human cost’ of failing to act on obesity, is primary care still failing the majority of our obese community asks HOOP UK’s CEO Lesley McCormack.

Published in Spring 2015, The human cost of failing to address obesity highlighted vast evidence to show the patient impact of a treatment black hole, including HOOP UK’s 2014 report Tackling Obesity: All Talk, No Action. The article called for urgent action ‘to begin tackling the condition in primary care’ yet year on year reports by HOOP (2015 and 2016) has clearly demonstrated that treatment provision remains patchy and far from adequate.

“Not a day goes by without members contacting us after hitting a brick wall when asking their GP for help,” says Lesley. “We know that most primary care professionals are empathetic but many still have few resources to help or lack enough understanding of how obesity impacts all aspects of an obese person’s life to provide an informed treatment plan.”

According to Lesley, some of the charity’s now 10,000 strong membership feel let down in an even more alarming way. She explains: “Shockingly, in a straw poll conducted with members this week on the issue of bullying, more than half of respondents said they had experienced ‘fat-shaming’ by health professionals, which ranked third below strangers in public places and family members. We put our trust in doctors and nurses when we are feeling most vulnerable so the damage caused by such experiences is not only huge but wholly unacceptable.

“At HOOP, we not only provide a safe place for anyone struggling with obesity to seek advice and support but we are also fighting hard to put an end to fat-shaming and bullying which have become far too commonplace and acceptable practices today. False perceptions that the obese person deserves to be the subject of stigmatisation or will feel shamed into taking action to lose weight are weighing our nation down. For most people, such attitudes are counterproductive and harmful.

“If we all stand against fat victimisation and stand by someone struggling with obesity, we will go a long way to making a real dent in the most overwhelming problem facing us today. This must and should start with primary care.”

HOOP UK is working with professionals across the health, social care, education, nutrition and fitness sectors to improve obesity awareness and eliminate both weight bias and discrimination.

Click here to read The human cost of failing to address obesity.

The British Journal of Obesity is the official journal of the National Obesity Forum (NOF) in association with the Obesity Management Association (OMA).

 

Type II diabetes – I was only 16, I didn’t think it was actually about me – Childrens Food Trust

One of HOOP UK’s priorities is to work with families to help children struggling with obesity. The daughter of one of our members, Hollie, now 18, has spoken to the Children’s Food Trust to tell her story as part of a campaign the charity is running in its mission to get every child in the UK eating well.

Commenting on the story which Children’s Food Trust published today, HOOP UK’s CEO Lesley McCormack said: “We are immensely proud of Hollie and how brave she has been to speak up about her struggle with childhood obesity and being diagnosed with Type II Diabetes at only 16 years of age.

“It’s stories like Hollie’s that help to break down the stigma surrounding obesity and the mentality of blaming parents which isn’t helpful. Offering non-judgmental guidance and support to parents and their children is how we are making real strides in understanding and tackling childhood obesity.

“Hollie was one of a few members who volunteered to speak to the Children’s Food Trust after we put a call out for people willing to help in the charity’s educational campaign. HOOP UK and the Children’s Food Trust have great synergy, so we were delighted to assist. We are also committed to working with them by continuing to share both the knowledge and experiences of all our members as well as experts working within HOOP to help children and parents across the UK.”

Check out Hollie’s story below.

 

Source: Type II diabetes – I was only 16, I didn’t think it was actually about me – Childrens Food Trust

5 places for 2 day TV & Film industry workshop

Foot in tfoot in the door films 2he Door Films CIC has offered HOOP UK places for five lucky members on a fabulous 2-day Education 2 Employment workshop designed for budding TV and Film actors and production crew.

The workshop, which will take place in foot in the door films 3April in Speke, Liverpool, provides a rare and life-changing opportunity to learn the ins and outs of how movies are made. Designed to improve confidence and self esteem along with the chance to meet like-minded people, the workshop covers the basic skills needed for a career in TV and Film production, job application skills, health & safety on a film set and an introduction to going self employed. It also provides help with sourcing work experience and jobs.

The places are sponsored by Santander and are for aged 16+ only.

Members should click here or follow the link below to the Foot in the Door website for more information and to register interest in one of the five places on offer. Deadline for applications is 31st March 2017.

 

Drastic weight-loss surgery should never be ‘normal’ says HOOP member speaking to Childrens Food Trust

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Mell Handley, one of HOOP’s Facebook community group administrators.

One of HOOP UK’s volunteer administrators of our now 10,000+ strong Facebook community, Mell Handley has spoken to the Children’s Food Trust to tell her story as part of a campaign the charity is running in its mission to get every child in the UK eating well.

Commenting on the story which Children’s Food Trust published today, HOOP UK’s CEO Lesley McCormack said: “We are very proud of Mell and how brave she has been to speak up about her battle with food from childhood that eventually led to her undergoing weight loss surgery.

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Mell today.

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Mell before weight loss surgery.

“Mell was one of a few members who volunteered to speak to the Children’s Food Trust after we put a call out for people willing to help in the charity’s educational campaign. HOOP UK and the Children’s Food Trust have great synergy, so we were delighted to assist. We are also committed to working with them by continuing to share both the knowledge and experiences of all our members as well as experts working within HOOP to help children and parents across the UK.”

Check out Mell’s story below.

Source: Drastic weight-loss surgery should never be ‘normal’ – Childrens Food Trust

19 members succeed at January’s HOOP Bootcamp Weekend!

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HOOP members taking up the challenge of the HOOP Bootcamp Weekend, January 2017, with coaches Mark Flewitt and Heather Wynn

On January 24th, nineteen HOOP members made their way down to Thetford Forrest to take part in another awesome HOOP Bootcamp Weekend. These weekends are run by coach Mark Flewitt and myself, Heather J. Wynn, they run from Friday evening through until Sunday afternoon and are based at an activity centre deep in the forest grounds.

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HOOP Bootcamp Weekend, January 2017: members beat the zipwire!

Whilst many people say they are willing to push themselves out of their comfort zones, it is rare that they are ever truly given the chance to do so, so throughout these HOOP Bootcamp weekends we aim to give people the opportunity to do just that. From zip wiring, canoeing, circuit training, early morning nature walks to clambering around on an obstacle course suspended over 30ft high trees, the challenges the campers face are not only physical, but mental and emotional too. However, the beauty is that you can take part in as much or as little as you wish to. There is nothing anyone must do, say or feel on these weekends, we hold no expectations for the campers other than coming along, enjoying being part of the HOOP team and giving things a go.

We often have tears – of fear, of joy and of accomplishment – but we balance it with laughter, so much laughter! One of the most amazing outcomes achieved through these camps are the many wonderful connections made between the camp members, most people know the other members of the group by name and social media profile picture only, but by Sunday evening it’s clear to see that life-long friendships have been made.

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HOOP Bootcamp, January 2017: fun exercise class with members

Alongside myself and Mark we also bring along our own resident chef, Brian Powlett, who spends his time in the kitchen cooking up feasts for us all. Brian prepares a menu in advance which gives people the option to choose from a selection of delicious home cooked meals. Brian also offers the opportunity for campers to learn more about food and cooking methods, this can present a great opportunity for those who get stuck for cooking ideas or who aren’t sure how to implement simple cooking changes at home.

I’ve mentioned the word ‘campers’ a few times here, but don’t get worried, there are no tents to be seen! We stay in a basic but very warm and comfortable accommodation block, the only catch being that you have to strip the sheets yourself at the end of the HOOP bootcamp weekend! There is tea and coffee on tap for that post tree-climb cuppa and communal areas to relax and chill in the evenings.

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HOOP Bootcamp, January 2017: early morning walks in Thetford Forrest

What often surprises people the most is just how much you get to know your fellow campers in such a short space of time. When you push yourself out of your comfort zone with activities like the ones we offer at these weekends, it’s near on impossible not to forge an element of trust with those around you supporting you at the time. The adrenaline is pulsing and this often gets released with powerful emotional surges that subsequently create a strong bond within the group.

As coaches, we find it incredible to see the clear transition in each person over the course of the weekends and, truly, that is why we created them! To not only provide opportunities to do things HOOP members may otherwise never get to do, but to also help every person who comes along to make a real dent in their self-limiting beliefs. Our overall aim is to lead each member from a mindset of ‘I can’t’ to being able to walk back to their lives truly believing, ‘I CAN.’

The next HOOP Bootcamp Week16736472_10212091378341145_1035492501_nend will be held on Friday 7th July – Sunday 9th July. Click here for more details. You can contact Mark Flewitt or Heather J. Wynn for more details.

“Hoop Camp was such a wonderful experience, it made me come alive again. There was such an array of wonderful activities that we could do and the support that was offered to each other was unbelievable.”

Mary.

“I was lucky enough to attend the January camp and it has been totally life changing for me. It has helped me to develop my self-confidence and belief that I can achieve all of my goals and has given me some fabulous memories and lifelong friends. “

Lucy.