The benefits of individual counseling combined with the dynamics of support groups.
Nowadays in Greece almost 2/3 of adult population and 40% of the children has weight issues. More0ver, a large percentage of adults have an unhealthy relationship with food. The “obesogenic” environment: increased processed food availability, is considered to be the main cause. The traditional approaches that focus on strict dietetic regimens have failed.
Those who wish to lose weight and maintain it but also develop eating competence and a healthy relationship with food, need knowledge, skills and an organised support network.
The groups provide the necessary context and the requisite counseling in order to help the participants to form a new way of thinking, make a positive mind-shift regarding their nutrition and substantially change their habits.
The support groups are usually consisted of 4 to 6 people that work alongside with 1 or 2 facilitators. The groups are highly interactive. The facilitators offer knowledge and every member of the team has the opportunity to discuss any weight, nutrition or food related issue in order to receive the necessary support by the other members and be helped in order to discover useful ideas and feasible solutions.
In a supporting environment, liberated from stereotypes and discriminations these support groups encourage each participant to alter their old long-standing food relationship that will lead to a healthier weight status but most importantly they will become competent eaters. A combination of coaching, peer support and active learning help the participants improve their relationship to food and increase their knowledge and skills in weight management, meal planning and food selection.
People who demonstrate a healthier relationship to food by improving their eating competence have also:
- better medical health
- lower and stable weight
- higher nutritional quality
- better relationships and emotional health
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Implementation of contemporary tools of nutritional education & support