Weight management experience of Singaporean adolescents-a phenomenological exploration
Date of Issue2014
Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information
Obesity is becoming increasingly prevalent among young populations. In terms of the serious consequences related to adolescent obesity, it is emergent to make efforts to reduce the possibility of being overweight. Research has shown that encourage teenagers to be physically active and to adopt a healthier eating pattern will be beneficial to manage a proper weight, and related investigations have been widely conducted in Western countries, while with little attention being paid to South East Asia countries. Moreover, lay theories have been found to orient action strategies to particular medical disorders, including the weight control practice of people, however, its application to Asia context is extremely rare. Therefore, this study focuses on Singaporean adolescents, aiming at exploring the following issues: first, how Singaporean adolescents manage to maintain a healthy weight in their daily life; second, how is their life experience, with reference of lay theories' possibly influence their weight control behaviours; third, are there any patterns, enablers, and barriers in their weight-managing attempts. Accordingly, this thesis will provide suggestions for future intervene and health-promotional programs based on adolescents' personal experience. This study employed the in-depth interview method to collect data. In all 20 adolescents were recruited to discuss about their experience of weight management, with informed consent obtained from them and also their parents’ consent prior to the interview. The data analysis software, Nvivo, was utilized to analyse qualitative data. Study results showed that Singaporean adolescents' practice to keep fit usually included being physically active and adopting a balance eating habit. However, their weight management experience was actually a process of struggling with various motivators and inhibitors, with efforts to seek a balance between their weakness like being inactive, greedy, and easily-swayed, identity as students, social support or discouragement from their parents, teachers, and peers and their desire to maintain a satisfying body weight. The influence of lay theories on adolescents' strategy to control weight was moderate, with a few exceptional cases that did not conform to its indications. Practical and theoretical implications were discussed at the end of the thesis.
DRNTU::Social sciences::Communication::Promotional communication
Nanyang Technological University