Journal of Womens Health, Issues and CareISSN: 2325-9795

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Perspective on Obesity Problems and Associated Factors to Reduce Weight among Overweight and Obese Housewives: A Qualitative Study

Introduction: The World Health Organization has declared obesity a global epidemic. In Malaysia the prevalence of obesity has reached an upward trend. Findings from the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2011 indicated that obesity among women was higher as compared to men and mean Body Mass Index among housewives was highest compared to other job categories. The aim of this qualitative study was to explore perspective on obesity problems and to gain a better understanding on barriers and facilitators to reduce weight among housewives in order to develop a weight loss intervention package.
Methodology: This qualitative survey is part of the “My Body is Fit and Fabulous at Home” (MyBFF@Home) which involved in-depth interviews with 28 overweight and obese housewives in low cost flats around Klang Valley. Housewives were sampled purposively and data were analysed using thematic analysis. Themes and subthemes were also coded, explored and refined using the NVIVO software.
Results: Five main themes associated with obesity problems emerge from the analysis that included ‘personal feelings, beliefs, lifestyles, life issues and effort to reduce weight’. Housewives perceived that their body size were big or too big and felt dissatisfied with their weight. Six main barriers were identified which included support, attitude, safety, environment, time and life issues such as finance and health problems. Self motivation, lifestyle, mindset, appealing figure, family and peer support were identified as facilitators to motivate housewives to reduce weight.
Conclusion: These findings provided tools useful to develop strategies to empower housewives to reduce and to sustain their weight loss over a period of time.

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