Weight loss practices among newly enrolling clients in a commercial weight loss program in Ghana
Background: In Ghana, obesity is showing a rising trend and there are weight loss initiatives being practised by individuals. However, the levels of commitment to such programs and the reasons for discontinuing have not been assessed. The objectives of this study were to investigate the weight loss practices of participants and reasons for quitting chosen weight loss programs.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study involving 50 subjects conveniently selected from people who were enrolling into a commercial weight loss program. A questionnaire was used to collect data on past weight loss practices and reasons for abandoning chosen programs. Data analysis was conducted using simple frequency and descriptive tests of the Excel software.
Results: More than half of the subjects (66%) had undertaken a weight loss practice before enrolment in study. Of these, 88.5% abandoned the strategy before the achievement of their desired weight goal. The three common programs that were practised were internet based diets (67.9%), commercial weight loss shakes (42.9%) and exercises (28.6%). Reasons given for abandoning programs included lack of sustainability (50%), lack of determination on the part of the client (15%), boredom with program (10%), not achieving desired results (10%), safety concerns (10%), and getting pregnant (5%).
Conclusions: The findings suggest that future weight loss programs can be effective and have reduced attrition rates if they are designed to achieve sustainable dietary and other lifestyle changes, as well as boost motivation for weight loss.
Keywords: weight loss, practices, diet, exercises, Ghana
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