The Perception of Overweight and Obesity among South African Adults: Implications for Intervention Strategies

Mashudu Manafe*, Paul Kiprono Chelule, Sphiwe Madiba

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Obesity is a public health problem, affecting more than half of the global population. Perceptions and beliefs play a significant role in preventing and managing overweight and obesity. Thus, the paper explores own perception of overweight and obesity on personal health among South African adults. This was a qualitative study in which the participants (n = 24) were interviewed in-depth on their perception of obesity and health. Thematic analysis was used in data assessment. The results revealed four main themes: perceived causes of obesity, self-perception of being obese, perception of obesity, health, and cultural beliefs. Environmental and personal factors were perceived as the leading cause of overweight and obesity. The findings further showed that body weight preference was personal and differed from individual to individual. The study provided insight into perceptions of obesity from individuals’ perspectives. The misperceptions of overweight and obesity are helpful in the design of impactful intervention programmes that can be used to prevent and manage obesity in South Africa.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12335
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

Keywords

  • beliefs
  • health
  • obesity
  • obesity-related conditions
  • overweight
  • perceptions

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