Understanding Weight Loss in Obese Adults
1Brunel University, London, UK
2Derrydown Clinic, National Health Service, UK
Background: Obesity is a global problem, however, behaviour change to counter this problem is not well understood. This study sought to explore this in a group of NHS patients who were obese or who had been obese but who had lost a substantial amount of weight within the last 3 years (even if they had regained). Method: After receiving NHS ethical approval this study recruited 11 participants, data was collected by means of semi-structure interviews and a 7-day daily diary. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. Findings: Of the 11 participants, 3 had not been successful at losing weight and 8 had been successful (5 regained). Themes developed from the analysis included ‘what was helpful’ (the doctor’s approach, e.g. a ‘shock tactic’), weight loss techniques (e.g. motivation and knowledge), the successful state of mind (e.g. perception of body size), and the support (positive and negative) received from friends and family. Discussion: The results have implications for health professionals in identifying factors important for this group for interventions. The results suggest that tackling knowledge and social norms and using ‘shock tactics’ may be effective.