“Are you still on that stupid diet?” Women’s experiences of societal pressure and support regarding weight loss, and attitudes towards health policy intervention

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Abstract

This study investigated how people’s attitudes and motivations towards losing weight are influenced by societal pressures surrounding weight loss, their interaction with the obesogenic environment and individuals’ attitudes and motivations towards weight. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with 10 women currently attending commercial weight-loss programmes. Participants experienced conflicting messages regarding weight norms, with the media portraying powerful social norms relating to thinness and beauty, and changes to the food environment and interactions with family and friends commonly undermining weight-loss activities and promoting increased consumption. Providing social and environmental support for the behaviours needed to produce weight loss may need to be a primary focus for obesity policy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1536-1546
JournalJournal of Health Psychology
Volume19
Issue number12
Early online date8 Aug 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014

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Health Policy
Weight Loss
Diet
Pressure
Weights and Measures
Motivation
Food-Drug Interactions
Weight Reduction Programs
Beauty
Thinness
Obesity
Interviews

Cite this

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abstract = "This study investigated how people’s attitudes and motivations towards losing weight are influenced by societal pressures surrounding weight loss, their interaction with the obesogenic environment and individuals’ attitudes and motivations towards weight. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with 10 women currently attending commercial weight-loss programmes. Participants experienced conflicting messages regarding weight norms, with the media portraying powerful social norms relating to thinness and beauty, and changes to the food environment and interactions with family and friends commonly undermining weight-loss activities and promoting increased consumption. Providing social and environmental support for the behaviours needed to produce weight loss may need to be a primary focus for obesity policy.",
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