200137 Perceived learning about food and eating habits of women participating in a weight loss program

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Elizabeth, M. Tant, BS , Health and Applied Human Science, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, NC
Michelle L. D'Abundo, PhD , Health and Applied Human Science, University of North Carolina- Wilmington, Wilmington, NC
The purpose of this research was to assess perceived learning relating to food and eating habits of participants in Weight Wise, a weight loss program for 40-64 year old women. Three separate 16 week programs were conducted that focused on increasing fruit and vegetable consumption, reducing consumption of processed foods, stress management, and increasing physical activity. Twenty five participants attended three focus groups held at the end of each course. Focus groups were audio-taped and transcribed verbatim and analysis was completed using the constant comparative method. The results included perceived learning focused on strategies for eating at restaurants, planning, diet adjustments, taste of healthy foods, to eat smart and move more, and food diaries. Participants discussed planning including packing lunch, bringing snacks and adjusting eating. Diet adjustments included portion control, adding healthier foods to diets, eating more fruits and vegetables, drinking more water and eating more fiber. Participants learned healthy foods can taste good through sampling and sharing food and recipes. The women learned to eat smart and move more by burning more calories than they consumed and the amount of exercise required to burn calories. Food journals were discussed as a way to track food intake, but participants reported both negative and positive aspects of journaling and different levels of compliance with tracking food. In order to assess the effectiveness of the program and ensure lasting weight maintenance of participants, it is important to know what the participants feel they learned throughout the program.

Learning Objectives:
To describe perceived learning about food and eating habits that occurred for female participants enrolled in a weight loss program for women 40-64 years old.

Keywords: Nutrition, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am student assistant for the Obesity Prevention Initiative. I helped collect data and processed data for analysis.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.