Just the job

What is the aim of your job?

To reduce childhood obesity by working on a weight management
programme with children diagnosed as clinically obese and their
family. We assess the family and treat them as a whole, not just
the child.

What is an average day like?

We have workshops – 24 sessions – covering healthy eating and
psychological issues such as motivation, body image and
goal-setting. So part of the day is spent planning sessions and
promoting them, booking accommodation and dealing with enquiries.
If it’s one of the days the sessions are on we record measurements
for both child and parent, run two fitness tests per programme, and
give participants food diaries so we can see where they are going
wrong. Every session has sports activity, and we teach different
skills to help kids gain confidence.

Who do you work with?

Health professionals, parents, children, teachers, leisure
centre staff, dieticians.

What’s the best part of your job?

Making a change to healthy living is a giant step – breaking
that giant step down into lots of little steps and building a
person’s self-esteem is rewarding. But they have got to want to be

What is the worst part?

When they don’t get the message. Repeating the same thing over
and over, and when parents undo the good work. We have had
instances of children dropping out because parents just didn’t want
to bring them and the kids were upset.

What is your work background?

I did GP exercise referral for another council. I have a BSc in
health and fitness, a diploma in performance coaching, gym and
swimming instructor qualifications and various courses such as
smoking cessation and children and fitness.

Do you need any specific qualifications?

A degree in sports science or an equivalent.

What qualities do you need?

Patience and excellent communication skills. Good team worker
and motivator.

How much do you earn?

About £24,000

Any advice for those interested in this line of

If you like working with people it is a good job because you can
see the work you have done does get results. These children have
lifestyle diseases that are avoidable.

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