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People who were obese tried diets but felt they needed ongoing support to empower them to make lifestyle changes

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QUESTIONS

How do people who are obese describe their experiences with weight loss solutions? What do they think may help them to lose weight?

DESIGN

Qualitative study.

SETTING

Victoria, Australia.

PARTICIPANTS

Convenience and purposive sample of 76 people (mean age 47 y, 83% women) who had a body mass index ⩾30.

METHODS

Data were collected in face-to-face or telephone interviews. Interviews were audiotaped and transcribed. Data were analysed thematically using constant comparison.

MAIN FINDINGS

(1) Motivations for dieting included overall health and well-being, advice from healthcare professionals, and social acceptance. One participant stated, “…I really am sticking to the diet to get this weight off so I can fit into a skirt that I want to wear.” (2) Weight loss techniques. Participants progressed from “fad” diets as teenagers to more commercialised diets, such as Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig. For many, diet groups were a social activity shared with family and friends. Some participants felt a sense of belonging in such groups; however, groups could also reinforce low self-esteem, negative feelings, and self-blame. …

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