A WOMAN who holds a plus size beauty title has launched a campaign to raise awareness about how medication can be a factor in obesity.

Alyx Denman, from Northlew, went from a size 12 to a size 20/22 after being prescribed the antipsychotic drug quetiapine and olanzapine for anxiety.

She continues to take both drugs, which keep her mentally stable, along with a third, pregabalin to treat both her ME and fibromyalgia.

’I gained weight when I started taking quetiapine,’ she said ‘I have never changed my diet or level of exercise, the only thing that caused my weight gain was the medication. I am vegetarian and I hardly eat – my mum and husband are always telling me to eat more as I really don’t eat – and yet I’m plus size.

‘I’ve done Slimming World and that kind of stuff but it doesn’t work for me because I don’t eat very much at all anyway.’

Alyx, 33, who was named Mrs Curves in the Miss Curves Virtual Beauty Pageant 2018, said she wanted to raise awareness that there were many people, like her, who put on weight for reasons beyond their control.

The trained counsellor, who also does modelling through agency Ample Angels, has set up a support group for others through her Facebook page ‘medication obesity awareness’.

Her campaign is being supported by her MP Mel Stride.

‘I’ve been wanting to do this since I started to put on weight when I first started on the medication when I was 24,’ she said. ‘After winning this title, though, I have gained the confidence to raise awareness of what has happened to me.

’I really want to help other people who have gained weight with medication because there is so much judgement in society at the moment towards plus-sized people. There are other reasons for being overweight than just eating too much – and that itself can be comfort eating.

’I have spoken to lots of women who are in the same position as me. I posted in a plus size group on Facebook and I got an unbelievable reaction. There are so many women out there who have had this, and I thought it was about time I started telling my story.’