Narrative Messages

These three stories have been designed to communicate to parents why it may be important, beneficial, and not as difficult as they may imagine to take steps towards helping their child to achieve a healthy weight. They have been designed with health communication in theory in mind, to try and reduce parents’ defensiveness, promote confidence and reduce the stigma or being told your child is overweight. They are available in a pdf format, designed to be printed as a leaflet or postcard-sized letter insert – see the picture below.


Louise’s story: Designed to provide an example of a parent who finds it initially hard to
accept that their child is overweight, and worries that by talking to her about h
er weight she may harm her child’s well being. The case study aims to model a situation where the parent does take a positive step towards trying to improve the family’s diet
and lifestyle, and has a positive experience; small steps are good enough to make a difference, and possible to accommodate within family

shutterstock_mother and son talking

Mark’s story: Designed to give a child’s perspective of what it may be like to know you are overweight, but not to receive support or involvement from your parents. Children’s perspectives are very rarely considered – beyond presu
ming that to mention overweight is to risk undermining their self-esteem. This story aims to put across the potential benefits to come from engaging with a child about their weight and the positive (rather than stigmatizing) benefits of engaging with children’s weight management services.

Sam’s story
: Very often the parents of an overweight child are overweight themselves, with the effect that parents lack the belief that they can do anything to a make a difference to their child’s weight and feel it is inevitable that their child will be overweight too. The aim of this scenario is to encourage all parents to try and help their child, and believe that taking steps with their child now, may help them to avoid being overweight later in life.

Download a pdf of these narrative messages