Spreading the word about Weight Bias & Diabetes

It’s been a busy month.  Between my nutrition counselling, writing articles, editing a magazine and a big Ultimate Frisbee tourney it feels like I’ve hardly had time to breathe. Something else eating into my routine were two seminars I was asked to provide this month; one on Weight Bias to the students of New Cairo British International School (NCBIS), the other on Diabetes Awareness & Management to the CSA community.  Both seminars went over really well and I hope I have the opportunity to provide others in the future.

Weight bias is a topic I’m passionate about and something I’ve written on often in the past.  It sadly occurs all too regularly here in Egypt (and everywhere).  When I was invited to NCBIS to speak with their Year 7-9 students on a topic about “nutrition, eating disorders, sports & exercise, and/or body image”, I knew that the issue of weight bias and stigma was a perfect fit.

Unlike typical seminars for adults, my weight bias talk needed to be a little more interactive to keep the students engaged.  Fortunately, I’m married to a teacher of kids of the same age so she was able to give me awesome input for engaging them throughout the presentation.  Among other things we created a brainstorming activity of various obesity stereotypes, as well as a group exercise to get the kids thinking about how you can determine how healthy someone is (ie. body weight not necessarily being a good measure of health).

Overall I was thrilled with the participation from the students.  Perhaps it’s because I remember being that age and rarely being the one to raise my hand, but it surprised me how there was never a time I asked asked questions that I didn’t have multiple volunteers.  There were even a few times I had to cut the discussion short, just so we could stay on time.

Here are a few pics of the presentation.  Thank you to Disna Wijemuni, the Secondary School Librarian at NCBIS for the invitation and Heba Khamis for the photos.

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Activity to determine who is the healthiest of group

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Amazing student participation!

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Brainstorming obesity stereotypes

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Post-seminar autograph session. NCBIS put together a booklet of my articles and for some reason some of the students wanted me to sign it…

The second seminar of the month was for CSA on the topic of raising diabetes awareness.  Ideally it would’ve taken place on World Diabetes Day (November 14), but by the time the idea came up it was too late to coordinate so we settled on November 22 instead.  I was asked to give an overview of the disease and discuss how diabetes is typically managed, including diet.  Joining me would be Dr Ghaly, a physician and CSA sponsor, as well as Amina Young, a pharmacist from Canada.

Despite some confusion regarding the order of the speakers, the presentation itself went quite well.  Again I had plenty of audience participation, which always makes things easier. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to do future CSA nutrition seminars.  As long as there’s enough time to prepare and advertise, they’re honestly something I don’t mind being busy for.

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Raising Diabetes Awareness at CSA

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