Causes of obesity are known to be complex and multi-factorial. An
increasing prevalence of obesity is of global concern. There is a need to
fi nd effective obesity management and public health programmes. This
paper draws on data collected as part of a study which focussed on lay
and practitioner experiences and perceptions of nutrition information
leafl ets in primary care. A qualitative design incorporating focus groups
with 57 practitioners based at 7 GP practices and a purposive sample
of 30 lay participants attending 6 consumer health organisations within
one primary care trust. Focus groups were taped and transcribed verbatim
and data were analysed thematically supported by a computer
program (N6; QSR, 2007). Obesity and weight management were discussed
by both practitioners and lay participants. Practitioner themes
included challenges and concerns about effectiveness when delivering
advice. Lay participants described personal experiences of seeking help
and the lack of trust in medical involvement unless they had a specifi c
medical diagnosis. Lay participants also discussed socio-cultural perceptions
of the causes of obesity. Findings from this study expose the
variance between practitioner and lay experiences, question both the
effectiveness of primary care practitioners and their role in obesity
management, and highlight the need for training for primary health care
staff who are increasingly being asked to provide nutritional advice. In
particular the study underlines the importance of having lay involvement
in the development of obesity management programmes and
public health campaigns if these are to be relevant and meet the needs
of patients
Original languageEnglish
Article number488
Pages (from-to)103
Number of pages1
JournalNutrition and Dietetics
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2012
EventDietitians Association of Australia 16th International Congress of Dietetics - Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Sydney , Australia
Duration: 5 Sept 20128 Sept 2012


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