Health professionals’ perceptions of weight loss programmes and recommendations for future implementation: a qualitative study: a qualitative study

Christina Jessen-Winge, Pia Ilvig, Trine Thilsing, Kim Lee, Heather Fritz, Jeanette Reffstrup Christensen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

8 Downloads (Pure)


Objective Obesity is an increasing public health challenge and most weight loss programmes are still inadequate to support sustainable weight loss. One reason for the continued lack of success might be the dominant biomedical, individualised approach to weight loss. Holistic approaches that focus on overall health and well-being in addition to weight loss are increasingly recommended.
In Denmark, health professionals in the municipalities are responsible for developing and conducting weight loss programmes. The objective of this study was to explore what health professional’s perceived as an ideal, holistic weight loss programme that could be feasibly implemented in the municipalities.
Design A phenomenological-hermeneutical qualitative study was performed using semistructured interviews. Setting Thirty-two Danish municipalities were weight loss programmes are developed and conducted. Participants Thirty-five
health professionals with experience conducting weight loss programmes.
Results Three themes emerged from the analysis: Support from the social network are important both during and after a weight loss, Changing the self-belief by positive discussions and doing activities, Maintaining changes through daily life.
Conclusion Future municipal weight loss programmes should emphasise overall health and well-being instead of weight loss and adopt a holistic approach including a focus on social relationships, meaningful activities and successes as part of a balanced daily life.
Translated title of the contributionSundhedsprofessionelles holdning til vægttabsprogrammer og anbefalinger til fremtidige implementering - et kvalitativt studie
Original languageEnglish
Article number039667
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number11
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 18 Nov 2020


  • health, nutrition and quality of life
  • weight loss

Cite this