Perception of obesity and overweight among adults living in suburban Nepal: a qualitative study

BMJ Open. 2021 Apr 29;11(4):e043719. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-043719.


OBJECTIVE: To explore the perception of obesity and overweight among Nepalese adults living in a suburban community.

DESIGN: A qualitative study composed of focus group discussion (FGD) and in-depth interview (IDI).

SETTING: Community and healthcare facilities in Dhulikhel, Nepal.

PARTICIPANTS: Four FGDs were conducted with community members (n=22) and four IDIs were conducted with healthcare providers (HCPs).

RESULTS: Obesity is a rising problem in this suburban community. Participants had inadequate knowledge regarding the consequences of obesity, and they perceived overweight as normal, healthy and attractive. The participants above 40 years of age did not perceive themselves to be overweight or obese. Despite participants’ awareness of the importance of diet control and exercise to prevent obesity, these were not translated into practice.

CONCLUSIONS: This study provided insight into perceptions of obesity in a suburban Dhulikhel community through both community members’ and HCPs’ perspective. Misconceptions and inadequate knowledge of obesity among people in this community indicate the need for health education and intervention programme to increase health awareness and preventive practices.

PMID:33926979 | DOI:10.1136/bmjopen-2020-043719