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"They all work...when you stick to them" : a qualitative investigation of dieting, weight loss, and physical exercise, in obese individuals

Thomas, Samantha L., Hyde, Jim, Karunaratne, Asuntha, Kausman, Rick and Komesaroff, Paul A. 2008, "They all work...when you stick to them" : a qualitative investigation of dieting, weight loss, and physical exercise, in obese individuals, Nutrition journal, vol. 7, no. 34, doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-7-34.

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Title "They all work...when you stick to them" : a qualitative investigation of dieting, weight loss, and physical exercise, in obese individuals
Author(s) Thomas, Samantha L.
Hyde, Jim
Karunaratne, Asuntha
Kausman, Rick
Komesaroff, Paul A.
Journal name Nutrition journal
Volume number 7
Issue number 34
Total pages 7
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2008-11-24
ISSN 1475-2891
Keyword(s) adolescent
adult
aged
attitude to health
body mass
controlled study
diet therapy
exercise
major clinical study
physical activity
obesity
social network
treatment outcome
unspecified side effect
weight reduction
Summary Background
To explore the extent to which people living with obesity have attempted to lose weight, their attitudes towards dieting, physical exercise and weight loss solutions, why their weight loss attempts have failed, and their opinions about what would be most beneficial to them in their struggle with their weight.

Method
Qualitative study, using open-ended interviews, of 76 people living with obesity in Victoria, Australia in 2006/7. Individuals with a BMI of 30 or over were recruited using articles in local newspapers, convenience sampling, and at a later stage purposive sampling techniques to diversify the sample. Data analysis was conducted by hand using a constant, comparative method to develop and test analytical categories. Data were interpreted both within team meetings and through providing research participants the chance to comment on the study findings.

Results
Whilst participants repeatedly turned to commercial diets in their weight loss attempts, few had used, or were motivated to participate in physical activity. Friends or family members had introduced most individuals to weight loss techniques. Those who took part in interventions with members of their social network were more likely to report feeling accepted and supported. Participants blamed themselves for being unable to maintain their weight loss or 'stick' to diets. Whilst diets did not result in sustained weight loss, two thirds of participants felt that dieting was an effective way to lose weight.

Conclusion
Individuals with obesity receive numerous instructions about what to do to address their weight, but very few are given appropriate long term guidance or support with which to follow through those instructions. Understanding the positive role of social networks may be particularly important in engaging individuals in physical activity. Public health approaches to obesity must engage and consult with those currently living with obesity, if patterns of social change are to occur.
Notes This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/1475-2891-7-34
Field of Research 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2008, Thomas et al.
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30046419

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Population Health
Open Access Collection
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.