Motivators, barriers and strategies of weight management: A cross-sectional study among Finnish adults
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CitationHalali, F. Lapveteläinen, A. Karhunen, L. Saarela, AM. Lappalainen, R. Kantanen, T. (2018). Motivators, barriers and strategies of weight management: A cross-sectional study among Finnish adults. EATING BEHAVIORS, 31, 80-87. 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2018.08.009.
Weight management (WM) is an ongoing global challenge. The purpose of this study was to analyze motivators, barriers, and strategies of WM among Finnish adults.
Data were collected in the ‘KULUMA’ (Consumers at the Weight Management Market) project among 667 community-dwelling adults in Eastern and Central Finland (Kuopio and Jyväskylä). The self-reported questionnaire collected background information and responses to motivators, barriers, and strategy items. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to extract components of motivators, barriers, and strategies of WM, along with K-means clustering to categorize the participants.
About 55% of the respondents were aiming to lose weight. The PCA resulted in a 3-component model for motivators (functional aspects, sociological aspects, and psychosocial aspects), a 4-component model for barriers (life situations, food environment, personal issues, and resources) and a 2-component model for the strategies of WM (dietary strategies and life-management strategies). The components had several relationships with demographic characteristics (especially with age) but only a few with weight-related characteristics (e.g. weight loss attempts). Three clusters of participants were formed: Struggling weight managers (WMs), Independent WMs, and Determined WMs. Barriers to WM had a key role in differentiating clusters and weight satisfaction. Determined WMs were the most satisfied with their weight, whereas Struggling WMs perceived the highest level of barriers to WM.
WM efforts are common among Finnish adults. Generally, weight-related activities and communication in society should focus more on barriers than merely on the motivation or strategies of WM in order to support individuals' WM efforts.