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Why Lose Weight

The purpose of this article is to describe the reasons people give for deciding to lose weight compared by weight history and gender. The sample consisted of 162 Caucasian community volunteers. Data were obtained from an extensive open-ended interview that was analyzed using content analysis. Respondents were categorized into five groups, according to their success at weight loss: Successful, Always Normal Weight, Underweight, Clinically Successful, and Always Obese. The Clinically Successful and Always Obese were included in the category Unsuccessful Dieter. Reasons given for entering a weight-loss regime included attractiveness or appearance, health, fear, self-esteem issues, age, and competition. For the Successful Dieter, attractiveness and health were the two major motivations. Men and women were similar in their reasons for entering a weight-loss program. The issue of what makes a decision of sufficient importance to maintain weight loss remains unexplained. "Centrality" is offered as a possible explanation.

Source: Brink PJ, Ferguson K. Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta, Canada.

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