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Nutrición Hospitalaria

On-line version ISSN 1699-5198Print version ISSN 0212-1611


BARRAGAN, Rocío et al. Qualitative study of the differences between men and women's perception of obesity, its causes, tackling and repercussions on health. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2018, vol.35, n.5, pp.1090-1099.  Epub Jan 20, 2020. ISSN 1699-5198.


although obesity is a multidimensional health problem, few qualitative research studies have analyzed the discourse of obese individuals from the gender perspective in order to better understand the hard come by information gathered from quantitative research.


to analyze the discourse of obese individuals in focus groups concerning factors underlying obesity, pathology risk perception, weight loss and other relevant factors.


two single-sex focus groups, with a total of 14 participants, were held in separate sessions. A moderator directed the session, addressing the different dimensions of the problem. The groups were recorded in audio and textually transcribed. The discourse was analyzed using qualitative methods.


important differences were observed between male and female perspectives. The self-perceived causes of obesity for women were pregnancy and menopause. Men attributed obesity to eating habits and cultural customs. For men, the final aim of reducing weight was to improve their health, whereas women also included aesthetics. Both sexes believe that obesity can lead to greater problems. Women expressed their fear of putting on weight, but men did not. Differences were also observed in the strategies adopted for combating obesity.


differences in the perception of the causes and how to tackle obesity between men and women show us the need to consider therapeutic and preventive measures that take gender into account, in addition to the environmental aspects surrounding the patient.

Keywords : Obesity; Gender; Qualitative; Focus groups; Diet; Physical activity.

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