The weight-loss experience : qualitative exploration

ROGERSON, David, SOLTANI, Hora and COPELAND, Robert (2016). The weight-loss experience : qualitative exploration. BMC public health, 16 (371), 1-12.

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Link to published version:: 10.1186/s12889-016-3045-6


BACKGROUND: Long-term weight management consists of weight-loss, weight-loss maintenance, and weight-gain stages. Qualitative insights into weight management are now appearing in the literature however research appears to be biased towards explorations of weight-loss maintenance. The qualitative understanding of weight loss, which begets weight-loss maintenance and might establish the experiences and behaviours necessary for successful long-term weight management, is comparatively under-investigated. The aim of this study was to investigate the weight-loss experiences of a sample of participants not aligned to clinical intervention research, in order to understand the weight-loss experiences of a naturalistic sample. METHODS: Participants (n=8) with weight-loss (n=4) and weight-maintenance experiences (n=4) were interviewed using a semi-structured interview to understand the weight-loss experience. Interview data was analysed thematically using Framework Analysis and was underpinned by realist meta-theory. RESULTS: Weight loss was experienced as an enduring challenge, where factors that assisted weight loss were developed and experienced dichotomously to factors that hindered it. Participants described barriers to (dichotomous thinking, environments, social pressures and weight centeredness) and facilitators of (mindfulness, knowledge, exercise, readiness to change, structure, self-monitoring and social support) their weight-loss goals in rich detail, highlighting that weight loss was a complex experience. CONCLUSIONS: Weight loss was a difficult task, with physical, social, behavioural and environmental that appeared to assist and inhibit weight-loss efforts concurrently. Health professionals might need to better understand the day-to-day challenges of dieters in order to provide more effective, tailored treatments. Future research should look to investigate the psycho-social consequences of weight-loss dieting, in particular self-imposed social exclusion and spousal sabotage and flexible approaches to treatment.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Centre for Sport and Exercise Science
Identification Number: 10.1186/s12889-016-3045-6
Depositing User: David Rogerson
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2016 10:32
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2016 10:49

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