Living with Obesity, you are told so often it’s your own fault, you start to believe it.

Living with Obesity, you are told so often it’s your own fault, you start to believe it.

‘I was always overweight,” says Ben Whelan. “I weighed 10 pounds when I was born, which was heavy for a baby in 1959. Despite obesity being a disease recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 1948, I was never diagnosed as such until 2016. I was 57.” That diagnosis came from his bariatric surgeon in Cork. “He was the first person that said to me, ‘You are living with obesity’.”

Ben, who lives in Dublin, describes how he was impacted by this growing up. “You’d notice as a teenager, probably not as a young kid. At school, conversations would stop when you’d appear. When they’re picking a football team, you would be last picked, then you’d be told: ‘You can be goalkeeper because you will fill half of the goal anyway’. You would get comments shouted across the yard.”

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