Oral Presentation Australian & New Zealand Obesity Society 2015 Annual Scientific Meeting

Stories from big New Zealand men (#19)

Fiona Doolan-Noble 1 , Tom Love 1 , Tony Dowell 1 , Sue Pullon
  1. University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

OBJECTIVE: There is a significant gap in the obesity related research regarding the weight management experiences of large men in primary care.  With New Zealand (NZ) men getting fatter, faster than men elsewhere it is imperative to start to understand the primary care experiences of big NZ men, as well trying to understand their daily lived experiences

METHOD: Men were recruited using posters and snow balling technique.  Semi-structured qualitative interviews were used to collect participant data.  Participants were asked to discuss their lived experiences of being big men, as well as, their experiences in primary care.  Interviews were subsequently thematically analysed. 

RESULTS: Fourteen men were interviewed.  Three key themes emerged from the analysis of the text data.  The general practice theme was comprised of three sub-themes, communication; the experience of having measurements taken and general practitioners and practice nurses as role models.  The life as a big man theme included six sub-themes.  The positives and negatives of living large; misperceptions of body size; responsibility; time and causes of weight gain; fitting in and motivators, barriers and strategies for weight loss.  Finally the stigma theme encompassed both emblematic and experiential stigma, as well as they impact of these on their lives. 

CONCLUSION: This study promoted the start of a conversation with large NZ men and identified areas of unmet need in primary care.  In addition, information on individual factors and experiences that affect the daily lives of large men outside of primary care provide important insights that are relevant to health professionals caring for them in primary care.