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Title: Analysing the participant’s perceived impacts on self-esteem and self-image after significant weight loss
Authors: Scerri, Hannah
Keywords: Weight loss -- Malta
Weight loss -- Psychological aspects
Obesity -- Malta
Self-esteem -- Malta
Self-perception -- Malta
Issue Date: 2019
Citation: Scerri, H. (2019). Analysing the participant’s perceived impacts on self-esteem and self-image after significant weight loss (Bachelor’s dissertation).
Abstract: With Malta having one of the highest rates of obesity in Europe (WHO, 2018) one has seen an increase in pressure to push people to lose weight. However, not much attention is paid to what comes after the weight loss. The purpose of this research is to shed light on what comes after weight loss; how one’s perceptions on their self-esteem and self-image changes, together with other newly encountered emotions and experiences. This study makes use of qualitative research through the use of open-ended interview questions to allow for an in depth look into the journeys of six participants, three women and three men aged between 18 25. Through the use of Thematic Analysis, common themes and subthemes were elicited from the interviews. The main discoveries of this study indicate that the idea of being thin associates itself closely with the idea of being attractive. It has also been seen that after the journey, one feels that they are a new person, the person they were always meant to be in life and this brings about new experiences, such as friends and employment. Family was mentioned as a more important factor than friends when it came to encouragement to lose weight. Moreover, from the aspects of social context, it was seen that once weight is lost, participants felt more eligible to sexual partners. It was also seen how weight loss comes with challenges, including maintenance, not achieving the body one would have hoped for, the fear of gaining the weight back, and the fragile body identity developed by some. This study also brings out the negative connotations one has about being overweight. This is associated with ridicule, judgment, a flaw in oneself, less acceptance, low self-acceptance, and having less value than other thinner individuals. In conclusion, this study highlighted that losing weight has; (i) positive and negative effects on individuals, and (ii) such effects continue to impact the individual well after the weight loss. Thus, this study stresses the importance of looking at how weight loss impacts individuals.
Description: B.PSY.(HONS)
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacSoW - 2019
Dissertations - FacSoWPsy - 2019

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