Personal and relational wellness in a community-based weight loss program for women: Implications for weight loss programs
The purpose of this research was to describe the participants’ perspectives of a community-based weight loss program for women. Five focus groups were conducted with participants from the Weight Wise Women program in two community facilities in southeastern North Carolina. Focus group participants (N= 50) from three cohorts of the Weight Wise Women program were between 40-64 years of age, and all had a body mass index of > 25. Data analyses consisted of coding and organizing information from observations, notes and transcriptions into themes. Three broad categories emerged. The first, personal wellness, included learning, health, control over life, and self-efficacy and secondly relational wellness included social and peer structure, support from instructors, and collaboration. The final category was specific comments about the program. Participants viewed this program as an effective way to lose weight. Implications include suggestions for community weight loss programs that could improve participant experiences, outcomes and the health of the community.