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Title: Weight-loss experiences vs. undergraduate nutrition education competencies : a qualitative comparison
Author: Rogerson, David J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7224 2922
Awarding Body: Sheffield Hallam University
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 2015
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It has been suggested that nutritionists might not be fully-equipped to deal with many diet-related issues, which are often complex, multi-faceted problems, because nutrition education propagates the partial understanding of dietary issues, reflecting nutrition science's poor engagement with psycho-social knowledge. To investigate these suggestions two qualitative investigations were performed sequentially. The first study investigated the weight-loss experiences of a group of individuals, to characterise the complexity of this dietary problem. The second study contrasted the participants' experiences with the Association for Nutrition's undergraduate core competency criteria using a qualitative methodology. For study one, participants (n=8) with weight-loss (n=4) and weight-maintenance experiences (n=4) were interviewed using semi-structured interviews, to understand weight loss at the agential level. For study two, the interview and core competency data were combined and analysed using Framework Analysis. Emergent themes were compared between cases (participants vs. core competencies) using framework matrices. Studies one and two were underpinned by critical realism. In study one the participants described barriers to (dichotomous thinking and behaviour, environments, social pressures and weight centeredness) and facilitators of their weight-loss goals (mindfulness, knowledge, exercise, readiness to change, structure, selfmonitoring and social support) highlighting that weight loss was multidimensional. In study two, knowledge, exercise, planning, psychological constructs and behaviour-change techniques, determinants of eating, and social support emerged as important features of weight loss to be embedded into curricula. The competency criteria provided clear or comprehensive guidance to education providers on all aspects discussed by the participants apart from exercise, psychological constructs and behaviour-change techniques, self-management, and social support. This thesis revealed that physical, environmental, social, and behavioural factors assist and inhibit weight-loss, and that accredited nutrition courses might not fully reflect the weight-loss needs and experiences of dieting individuals. Nutritionists might require greater knowledge of psychology and behaviour change to better understand and accommodate weight-loss needs.
Supervisor: Soltani, Hora Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available