Perceived Negative Consequences of Obesity - A Qualitative Approach

  • David Costa
  • Filipa Pimenta
  • João Maroco
  • Juliana Campos
  • Isabel Leal


Obesity is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome, dyslipidemia, type II diabetes, and premature death; furthermore, it is associated with negative psychological experiences. Although these consequences are fairly explored and evidenced-based, little research has been developed on how people with obesity perceive the consequences of their excessive body weight and using a qualitative methodology. Therefore, the aim of this study is to assess the perceived consequences of obesity, in a sample of 30 adult men and women with a body mass index above 30kg/m2, undertaking for that purpose in-depth interviews. Both positive and negative consequences were studied, however due to the higher frequency, the negative consequences were the main focus of this study. Using a qualitative approach via content analysis we obtained, after utilizing a Multiple Correspondence Analysis, a 3-factor model which explains the perceived negative consequences of obesity. The 3-factor model comprises the following factors: 1) Insecurity and Avoidance, 2) Physical/Health and Self-Esteem and 3) Emotional. These results shed some light on how different consequences are associated, providing a model to better understand perceived negative consequences in men and women with obesity.