Experiences of Obese Adolescents trying to Reach a Healthy Weight: Considerations for the Development of a Curriculum Guide

María de los A. Rivera-Torres, Francisco Vélez Cruz, Rosa L. Ramírez-Longchamps, Mercedes Rivera-Morales, María Villeneuve-Román, Vanessa M. Besosa-Vigo


Objective: Obesity, almost all around the world, has been described by the medical authorities as the most common pediatric illness in children and youngsters. The purpose of this study is to explore, describe, and analyze the experiences of obese adolescents on being obese and trying to reach a healthy weight. Design and Methods: A convenience sample of eight obese adolescents from 15 to 17 years old of both genders from three high schools of the educational region of San Juan, Puerto Rico was obtained. A phenomenological multiple-case study was conducted using a semi structured interview. Results: The experience of trying to reach a healthy weight is difficult because it requires a lot of physical effort to do exercises and physical activities, they lack the support of parents and trainers, and because of the availability of food with low nutritional value in their environment. Participants also pointed out that it is difficult due to the negative feelings that adolescents experience while performing the activities to lose weight. Conclusion: The goal to reach a healthy weight is difficult. It is recommended that agencies that work with overweight and obesity problems provide people with the knowledge, strategies, alternatives, and needed activities from a biopsychosocial perspective to help adolescents with this health condition to be successful in reaching and keeping a healthy weight.


Childhood Obesity

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