A grant of £5,000 was used to deliver a one-year healthy living project for Muslim women living in the Big Local North Brixton area. This project worked in partnership with The Women’s Health Program, which promotes the adoption of healthy lifestyles among low-income Muslim women living in north Brixton.
The project focused on young women between the ages of 13 and 18 years and engaged 120 people in total. It consisted of a 12-week healthy eating and exercise component. The project also included pre and post intervention surveys, before and after the 12-week session and six months later, to track positive changes in participants’ nutrition and exercise knowledge, attitudes and behaviours.
The project focused on minority women because there is strong evidence that minorities, especially minority women, are more likely to eat poorly, be sedentary and exhibit weight-related illnesses, such as diabetes. Additionally, immigrant women have been shown to have a higher BMI and are less physically active than British women, thus having a higher risk of heart disease.
The project’s aim was to examine post-migration dietary changes, and knowledge about risks for heart diseases among Somali women. Furthermore, it was designed to examine the women’s perceptions of body image, self-esteem, and their knowledge about the positive effect of physical activity.
This intervention was designed specifically to help low-income, Eastern-African women understand and improve their individual health and the health of their families by eating more healthily and taking the time for regular physical activity. Thus, the project encouraged sport and promoted healthier lifestyles. The project also enabled young women to become more informed about ways to reduce weight gain.