Weight management in obese adults: the role of internalized weight stigma and self-compassion

Coleman, Mercedez (2018) Weight management in obese adults: the role of internalized weight stigma and self-compassion. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Background: Obesity is now considered to be a global epidemic, with rates of obesity continuing to rise. Despite the increase in public health messages, many obese individuals struggle to manage their weight. Moreover, obese individuals are frequently subjected to stigma, which becomes internalized and may have an impact on weight management outcomes. Interestingly, the psychological construct of self-compassion has been identified as a potential protective factor against Internalized Weight Stigma (IWS) in obese adults and has been found to be related to better weight management outcomes.

Thesis Portfolio Aims: This thesis explores the role of IWS and self-compassion during weight management in obese adults. Weight management behaviours were defined as any adaptive or maladaptive behaviours to increase, maintain or reduce weight.

Design: A systematic review and mixed-methods synthesis was conducted to explore what is currently known about the role of IWS on weight management behaviours in overweight and obese adults. Weight management behaviours were categorised into physical activity and eating behaviours. The empirical paper explored the influence of self-compassion during weight management in nine obese adults accessing NHS Tier 3 weight management services, using a qualitative constructivist Grounded Theory Lite approach.

Results: Fifteen studies met the inclusion criteria for the systematic review, of which, ten were quantitative and five were qualitative. The results from the systematic review highlighted that IWS was related to maladaptive eating behaviours and reduced engagement in physical activity. The empirical paper presents a grounded theory of self-compassion during the weight management process. Five categories were constructed within the data: relating to self, interacting with others, relating to food, difficulty managing weight and developing self-compassion.

Conclusions: IWS and self-compassion may have fundamental roles in weight management for obese adults. Findings are discussed in relation to the current literature and recommendations for future research are suggested.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: Users 9280 not found.
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 12:56
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2021 00:39
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/68547


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