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Evaluation of participants' experiences with a non-restrictive minimally-structured lifestyle intervention. CHERE Working Paper 2010/11


  • Katherine Owen
  • Marion Haas

    () (CHERE, University of Technology, Sydney)

  • TL Pettman
  • Rosalie Viney

    () (CHERE, University of Technology, Sydney)


While there is increasing evidence that group-based lifestyle-focussed interventions may provide more realistic, effective and cost-effective alternatives to intensive, individualised dietary counselling and exercise training, relatively little is known about individuals? preferences for and perceptions of these programs. This paper reports the results of qualitative interviews conducted with participants of a lifestyle intervention trial (Shape up for Life? (SufL) aimed to improve body composition and metabolic health through long-term non-restrictive behaviour modification. Purposive sampling was used to identify 22 participants who participated in detailed interviews regarding their expectations of the intervention, perceptions of benefits and their experience post-intervention and capacity to maintain the lifestyle changes. The results indicate that in general participants are focussed on weight loss as a goal, even when the intervention offered and provided other benefits such as improved fitness and body shape and composition. The individuals who benefited most from the intervention typically had lower baseline knowledge about dietary and exercise guidelines. While the relatively non-restrictive nature of SufL provided flexibility for participants, many participants perceived that a more structured program may have assisted in achieving weight loss goals.

Suggested Citation

  • Katherine Owen & Marion Haas & TL Pettman & Rosalie Viney, 2010. "Evaluation of participants' experiences with a non-restrictive minimally-structured lifestyle intervention. CHERE Working Paper 2010/11," Working Papers 2010/11, CHERE, University of Technology, Sydney.
  • Handle: RePEc:her:chewps:2010/11

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    Obesity; lifestyle intervention; weight loss; metabolic syndrome;

    JEL classification:

    • I19 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Other

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