Meeting Overweight Citizens with a New Approach to Food, Body and Weight
Still more people in the Western world become seriously overweight. Kolding Municipality has developed a concept that involves taking a new approach to people who struggle with their diet, body and weight.
The concept is called Stability and is the result of a design process, the starting point of which is the individual participant. The employee listens to the person in question, trying to determine what constitutes a strong presence in his/her life and thus which type of support he/she is looking for.
People struggling with overweight feel that others generally just think that they have to pull themselves together. For example, no one asks them what they feel, ignoring the psychological and social mechanisms at play.
Stability focusses on these mechanisms. It helps the participants identify the values they wish to act out, and what can make their life meaningful again. It is a 36-week process, which focusses on the presence of negative thoughts on food, body and weight in the participants’ lives as well as on their well-being and level of activity. They are never weighed.
Ginta Frempong (in the photo) has participated in Stability. It has changed her life. Consequently, food is no longer the answer to difficult feelings. Evaluating the project, most of the participants say that they do not over-eat as often or as much as before.
After the 36-week process:
More than 80% of the participants feel healthier, and thoughts on food, body and weight are no longer a strong presence in their lives
56% have become part of a community
44% feel a greater inclination to be and are more physically active
75% have a higher WHO-5 score