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South African Medical Journal

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Abandoning weight-loss programmes

F. Van Staden, C. Gerhardt

Abstract


Published scientific reports on obesity have repeatedly confirmed subjects' difficu"ies in maintaining weight loss. A study of unsuccessful dieters focused on a group of 50 obese subjects who had previously joined a slimming organisation, but who had dropped out. They were interviewed with emphasis on factors relating to reasons why the weight loss programmes had been abandoned. The subjects were reached through active members, who brought along unsuccessful slimmers to the group interviews. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and analysed. The results highlighted the following problem areas: motivational issues, perception of self, interpersonal/social and situational constraints, behaviour paUerns, physiological concerns, and previous experiences of weight loss programmes. Sample characteristics were examined with regard to relevant demographic and educational variables. Implications of the results are discussed.




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