Coventry Peace Festival Hosts Radical Dietician 

Today at the Friends Meeting House, a Quaker church on Hill Street, Lucy Aphramor, a performance poet and radical dietician, held a workshop to discuss issues surrounding health, weight and diet, to aid people who were struggling with their own relationships with such matters and also offer guidance on how people in positions of care, can help people who are struggling, in conjunction with Coventry’s Peace Festival.

One of the core things the workshop focused on was how we see food and weight; from a young age, children in schools are told it is bad to be fat, and this negative feeling towards those who do struggle with their weight are not helped by the prejudice against themselves.

Dr Aphramor wants to help people readjust how they feel about themselves to enable them to lead healthy and happy lives long-term, instead of looking for short-term solutions, which lead to frivolous yo-yo dieting. She argues that the way we see food should not be so black and white (as in healthy and unhealthy), and instead we should focus more on respecting and valuing ourselves, which in turn leads to eating well and nourishing our bodies, building confidence and generally feeling better about ourselves . Of course, this is a continued cycle, and best described in the ‘Well Now Cycle’, which can be found on Dr Aphramor’s website: www.lucyaphramor.com

After the workshop I spoke with Dr Aphramor about body shaming, ways in which we can support others, and why it is such a big problem in today’s society. This is what she had to say,

Women at the workshop shared stories of their struggles, and it was clear that their own struggles have had a great impact on their lives. According to the NHS, 1 in every 5 children, and 1 in every 4 adults are obese, and the stigma and shame that follows these individuals due to a simple calculation that does not account for anything other than gender, height and age, only worsen the situation.

We know that mental health is also a growing problem across the UK, and it is not hard to imagine that the two may be interlinked. The 2014 Health survey for England found that 26 per cent of adults reported having ever been diagnosed with at least one mental health illness, highlighting the severity of the problem. People seek comfort in food instead of facing their problems, but, as Dr. Aphramor explained to the people of Coventry today, long-term recovery is reliant on acceptance and love.

Daisy Twine

 

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