The problematic weight loss - a phenomenological hermeneutic study of peoples challenges with weight loss maintenance: A phenomenological hermeneutic study of peoples challenges with weight loss maintenance

Maria Therese Linnet

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

This master thesis examines the difficult task of maintaining a weight loss by posing the questing: How and why do people experience challenges with weight loss maintenance? Existing research on the area shows that up to 90% of those people who manage to lose weight, end up putting it back on. Furthermore WHO and the Danish national Board of Health state that obesity is an increasing phenomenon among the world’s population and is related to a series of health risks, wherefore this study is relevant from a health promotion point of view. The thesis is built around a phenomenological and hermeneutical science paradigm and the empirical data is based on individual semiconstructed life-world interviews with 4 students from Ubberup højskole, which is a day school that focuses on creating a healthy lifestyle, here amongst weight loss. The thesis’ theoretical scope draws on perspectives on everyday life from Birte Bech-Jørgensen, Albert Schutz and Pierre Bourdieu and also includes perspectives on food culture, the body and identity from Deborah Lupton and Hannele Harjunen. The analysis of the empirical data shows that the informants everyday life and the circumstances surrounding it are highly important in understanding their failure to maintain a weight loss. Most important is the big contrast between the informants everyday life and the circumstances under which they obtain their weight loss. This involves aspects of self-discipline, structure, habits and routines. The analysis also shows that the informants weight loss maintenance is challenged by social and emotional factors surrounding food as well as the abundance of food in contemporary society. Furthermore the analysis shows that weight loss maintenance is challenged by how the informants identify with being overweight and how the body is subject to certain cultural discourses.

Educations, (Master) Undergraduate or graduate
LanguageDanish
Publication date22 Dec 2018
Number of pages99
SupervisorsKirsten Bransholm Pedersen