Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Prevention of obesity : exploration of lifestyle in 18-25 year olds
Author: Poobalan, Amudha
ISNI:       0000 0004 2717 3243
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2011
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Background: Adolescence to adulthood is a transition period, identified as a trigger point for weight gain and obesity but an under-researched age. Aims and objectives: This thesis identifies components crucial to 18-25 year olds in order to develop a lifestyle intervention for obesity prevention by identifying existing effective interventions and exploring their lifestyle related to obesity. Methodology: An initial systematic review identified and critically appraised evidence on effective interventions. An explanatory mixed method approach followed, to explore the lifestyle of 18-25 year olds in the Grampian region, using a questionnaire survey (quantitative) and focus groups (qualitative). A health behaviour theory was used to underpin the questionnaire. Seven focus groups were conducted. Results: The systematic review identified possible effective interventions, but these were short-term and conducted in specific groups in controlled environments. Based on 1313 responses, the self-reported prevalence of overweight or obesity was 22% and increased with age. Irregular meal eating patterns, decreasing physical activity levels with age, combined with high levels of snacking when younger (18-19 year olds) were associated with higher BMI. In spite of high intention, explained by attitudes, gender and employment status, translation of intention to actual behaviour was poor. Barriers preventing healthy lifestyle were time, organising skills during stressful periods and cost. Future health was not a major concern, and neither was winning nor impressing others. ‘Appearance’, ‘feel good factor’, ‘have fun’ and ‘get a buzz’ were major motivators. In spite of identifying some of the crucial elements important in this age group, recruitment and determining the ideal time to intervene will be the challenges still to be addressed. Conclusion: Small behavioural changes homing in on the immediate benefits along with sustained support are more likely to produce changes in young people’s lifestyle which in turn, might lead to prevention of obesity in the long-term.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available