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Children's understandings’ of obesity, a thematic analysis

Author(s): Amy L. Fielden | Elizabeth Sillence | Linda Little

Journal: International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health & Well-Being
ISSN 1748-2623

Volume: 6;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Obesity/overweight | health behaviour | children research | qualitative research

Childhood obesity is a major concern in today's society. Research suggests the inclusion of the views and understandings of a target group facilitates strategies that have better efficacy. The objective of this study was to explore the concepts and themes that make up children's understandings of the causes and consequences of obesity. Participants were selected from Reception (4–5 years old) and Year 6 (10–11 years old), and attended a school in an area of Sunderland, in North East England. Participants were separated according to age and gender, resulting in four focus groups, run across two sessions. A thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006) identified overarching themes evident across all groups, suggesting the key concepts that contribute to children's understandings of obesity are “Knowledge through Education,” “Role Models,” “Fat is Bad,” and “Mixed Messages.” The implications of these findings and considerations of the methodology are discussed in full.
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