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A Qualitative Assessment of Weight Control among Rural Kansas Women

Ely, Andrea C., Befort, Christie, Banitt, Angela, Gibson, Cheryl, Sullivan, Debra
Journal of nutrition education and behavior 2009 v.41 no.3 pp. 207-211
obesity, women, rural areas, weight control programs, weight control, health services, general practitioners, health beliefs, patient education, focus groups, physical activity, disease prevalence, interpersonal relationships, lifestyle, nutrition education, attitudes and opinions, Kansas
Objective: To explore weight control beliefs, attitudes, knowledge, and practices among rural Kansas women, and to characterize the relationship of these women with their primary-care providers around weight control. Design: Qualitative research using focus groups. Setting: Three separate communities of rural Kansas. Participants: Six focus groups among 31 women during fall 2006. Intervention: Two focus groups in each community, each of 2-hour duration. A focus group moderator's guide was used to explore the roles of individuals, primary-care practice teams, and communities around weight control. Analysis: This study used a qualitative analysis with an iterative process and standard techniques. The analysis team summarized central findings, descriptive topic areas, and general themes. Results: There were 5 broad themes that emerged from these focus groups. These themes are lack of support from primary-care providers; primary-care offices as community resources; lack of resources for promoting dietary change, but adequate resources for physical activity; the importance of group support and inclusiveness; and a need for more intensive interventions for weight control. Conclusions and Implications: Rural populations have an above-average prevalence of obesity and related comorbidities. Rural communities need better approaches for addressing the obesity epidemic.