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Title: Weight management among Maltese mothers
Author: Dutton, Elaine
ISNI:       0000 0004 6348 6618
Awarding Body: Brunel University London
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2016
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The World Health Organisation ([WHO], 2007) declared obesity as the public health threat of the 21st century. Currently, the Maltese adult population ranks as the heaviest in the Euro‐Mediterranean region. In response to a gap in Maltese research on the area of obesity and food consumption, this PhD aimed to gather local data to unearth behavioural‐psychological factors that could be implemented in local interventions. The focus of the PhD was narrowed to women with families based on literature that has identified motherhood as a salient point of transition that amplifies the weight trajectories for adult women. A mixed‐methods approach guided the methodology of the PhD programme with four studies carried out sequentially in two phases. The findings of the qualitative phase revealed that weight management for Maltese mothers was enmeshed with gender norm expectations surrounding motherhood. For mothers with a higher BMI, their relationship to food was a significant barrier to weight loss maintenance. Mothers with a lower BMI or who maintained their weight pointed at their food planning ability to manage their diet. The quantitative phase extended literature on the dimensional validity of the Dutch Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (DEBQ) (Van Strien et al., 1986) by reproducing its factor structure and ascertaining its reliability among Maltese women. This was the first validation of an eating behaviours assessment tool in Maltese and the first validation of the DEBQ in a Semitic language. Finally, Structured Equation Modelling revealed how food planning could act as a mediator to restrained and external eating styles to increase fruit and vegetable snacking and decrease high calorie snacking. In addition to the implications to theory, it is believed that these findings have worthy practical implications through tailored eating behaviour interventions, by targeting food planning to counterbalance the impact of external eating among Maltese mothers.
Supervisor: Dovey, T. ; Dibb, B. ; Myers, L. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Eating styles ; Dutch eating behaviour questionnaire (DEBQ) ; Food planning ; Snacking ; Obesity