Wiltshire

Wiltshire pupils warned of anorexia health risks

Nikki Bragg
Image caption Nikki Bragg has started a series of workshops in schools to raise awareness of anorexia

A Wiltshire woman who has had anorexia for more than 30 years has begun workshops to show pupils how the eating disorder has affected her life.

Nikki Bragg, 43, has been anorexic since she was nine years old, causing her to lose all her teeth and develop osteoporosis and heart problems.

She said: "An eating disorder starts off mental and then becomes physical and then can take over."

She hopes to persuade pupils to choose healthier lifestyles.

So far, Ms Bragg, from Swindon, has visited two schools in Wiltshire - Swindon Academy and Lydiard Park Academy.

Danielle Waters, a teacher from Swindon Academy, said: "Girls don't talk about it. They talk to their friends but no-one else and what do friends do? Pat them on the back and maybe sometimes encourage them.

Heart attack

"They won't talk to their parents, let alone teachers and it made me think what can we do better to help these girls in school?"

Ms Bragg's lowest weight was four stone (25kg) and aged 40 she suffered a heart attack.

She said: "People call me names - I've been called the smack head, I've been told by a relation they think I've got Aids."

Her daughter Sabrina has also taken part in the workshops to show the effect anorexia has had on her life.

She said: "There was a doctor on our doorstep with an ambulance and a crew ready to take my mum.

"I can't remember his true words but it was something along the lines of 'pick out a coffin because if your mum doesn't come to hospital now, she won't come out' and I think I was only about 10 or 11 at the time."

You can see the full story on Inside Out West on Monday, 29 October 2012 at 19.30 GMT.

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