Supporting service users to lose weight
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Supporting service users to lose weight

Jane Iorizzo Learning disability nurse, Haringey Learning Disabilities Partnership, London
Karen Evans Senior nurse practitioner, Haringey Learning Disabilities Partnership, London

Jane Iorizzo and Karen Evans discuss problems associated with obesity among people with learning disabilities, and how they attempted to address them through group work

Obesity commonly leads to long-term health problems and it is especially prevalent among people with learning disabilities. This article describes how community learning disabilities nurses at the Haringey Learning Disabilities Partnership, London, recognised and began to tackle the issue of obesity among their clients. After identifying the problem and an unmet need for support in weight management among service users, the nurses began to run group meetings for clients and training for carers. The nurses taught clients to be aware of the issue of obesity, and helped them to diet and exercise. The outcomes of this project are being assessed but initial feedback has been positive. Meanwhile, the project has developed into a partnership-wide weight management strategy and service for people with learning disabilities and body mass indices outside the healthy range in Haringey. Other local authorities could adopt a similar approach to the improvement of health outcomes by bringing together local health services, partner organisations, carers and user groups to address overweight and obesity.

Learning Disability Practice. 18, 4,12-16. doi: 10.7748/ldp.18.4.12.e1618

Correspondence

jane.iorizzo@haringey.gov.uk

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 05 December 2014

Accepted: 04 February 2015