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Book part
Publication date: 22 November 2019

David J. Hutson

In the contemporary US, pregnant women must navigate competing ideas about their bodies, including expectations for weight gain. Given that there are few social spaces…

Abstract

In the contemporary US, pregnant women must navigate competing ideas about their bodies, including expectations for weight gain. Given that there are few social spaces where women may gain weight without disapproval, pregnancy represents a period when women are allowed to put on weight. However, gaining weight means doing so within the context of the obesity “epidemic” and increased medical surveillance of the body. To explore how women navigate the medicalization of pregnancy weight, I draw on data from in-depth interviews with 40 pregnant and recently pregnant women. Findings indicate that women reframe the meaning of pregnancy weight as “baby weight,” rather than body weight. This allows them to view it as a temporary condition that is “for the baby,” while holding two concurrent body images – a pregnant and a non-pregnant version of themselves. Women also resist the quantification of their maternity weight, either by not keeping track or not looking at scales in the doctor’s office. Doing so prevented baby weight from turning back into body weight – a concrete and meaningful number on the scale. Such resistance to quantification is often accomplished with the help of doctors and healthcare professionals who do not explicitly discuss weight gain with their patients. These findings suggest that women rely on a variety of strategies to navigate the medicalization of pregnancy weight, and provides another lens through which to understand how and why women may make similar choices about other medicalized aspects of their pregnancy (or pregnancy experiences).

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Reproduction, Health, and Medicine
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-172-4

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Article
Publication date: 18 September 2007

Sarah Fleming and Vassiliki Costarelli

The purpose of the current study was to investigate the nutritional intake and body composition of Taekwondo (TKD) athletes during a two‐week period of weight management…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the current study was to investigate the nutritional intake and body composition of Taekwondo (TKD) athletes during a two‐week period of weight management as they prepare to make weight classification for an international competition.

Design/methodology/approach

Seven male, 17‐28 years old, international TKD athletes were recruited from a known World Taekwondo Federation TKD Club in London. Habitual and pre‐competition dietary intake was assessed using a three‐day and a five‐day food diary, respectively. Body weight and percentage body fat (Holtain Calipers, seven sites) were measured at the beginning of the study and 24h before competition. Body weight was also measured on the day of competition.

Findings

Energy, total carbohydrate, calcium and water intakes were below recommendations for athletes, particularly, before competition and consumption of fat and salt exceeded recommendations. Compared with baseline, the two‐week weight management period induced a significant reduction in the athletes body weight (1.2 per cent, P<0.05), however, there was no significant reduction in percentage body fat which remained stable at a very low average of 3.2 per cent (±0.8). During the 24‐h prior to weigh‐in for competition, the athletes significantly reduced their body weight by a further 3.4 per cent (2.2kg, P<0.05). The dietary analysis showed that the athletes were consuming a sub‐optimal diet both habitually and pre‐competition, which may compromise their performance and short‐ and long‐term health.

Originality/value

There has been a distinctive lack of literature on nutritional studies conducted on TKD athletes. This paper helps to fill that gap.

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Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 37 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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Article
Publication date: 16 November 2015

Stephen Kline

This paper aims to draw together research which links the moral panic about the “adipose” body during the first five years of the millennium to the worsening mental health…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to draw together research which links the moral panic about the “adipose” body during the first five years of the millennium to the worsening mental health of US teens. Noting the way medical advocacy biased the news coverage in the quality press in the UK, the USA and Canada through its emphasis on weight gain in child and youth populations, it reviews evidence of a relationship between eating disorders, body dissatisfaction and the mental health of teens.

Design/methodology/approach

Building on research which suggests that teens ' misperception of their body can impact their mental health, the paper proposes reflexive embodiment, defined as the way an individual interprets and evaluates their own body morphology in relationship to the medical profession’s articulation of norms for weight classes, as a new construct for exploring the impact of the medical debates about obesity.

Findings

Using data sets from the US Youth Risk Behavior Survey gathered in 2001 and 2007 to compare both weight status and weight class accuracy, the study finds evidence that teens ' perceptions of their bodies have changed more than their actual weight. Noting a complex relationship between teens ' misperception of their weight status and mental health risks associated with depression and suicide, the paper explores ways that the medical stigmatization of the adipose body, and the ensuing consequences of gendered weight bias, have consequences for teen well-being.

Research limitations/implications

This case study only provides an exploratory analysis of an hypothesis suggested by the theory of reflexive embodiment.

Practical implications

Refocus health professions on the mental health of teens.

Social implications

Evidence of health implications of reflexive embodiment adds to a growing critique of medicalization of adipose body morphology.

Originality/value

The analysis of data contributes to a growing concern about medical stigmatization of “fat” bodies as unhealthy.

Details

Young Consumers, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-3616

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Article
Publication date: 10 June 2014

Michele M. Laliberte, Daniel Balk, Stacey Tweed, Jessica Smith and Amrita Ghai

The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether reading a self-help chapter on the body's regulation of weight can change weight control beliefs, and whether such…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether reading a self-help chapter on the body's regulation of weight can change weight control beliefs, and whether such changes in turn predict improvements in body dissatisfaction and self-esteem.

Design/methodology/approach

Participants of a mixed racial sample of undergraduate college women (n=154) completed measures of personal weight control beliefs, body dissatisfaction, self-esteem and knowledge before and after they read a self-help education chapter.

Findings

Exposure to the education was associated with improvement in knowledge, body dissatisfaction and self-esteem and change in weight control beliefs. Increase in the belief in “striving for a healthy lifestyle with acceptance of one's natural weight” predicted improvement in body dissatisfaction and self-esteem.

Research limitations/implications

This paper provides preliminary evidence that realistic information about weight control can impact weight control beliefs, and that this in turn is associated with improvement in body satisfaction and self-esteem. The major limitation of the study is the lack of control group to ensure changes are not due to factors like social desirability. Future directions would be to replicate this research using a control group, and to look at the role of education and weight control beliefs in eating disordered and bariatric populations.

Originality/value

This is the first study to look at the impact of providing young women with realistic information about the body's regulation of weight and weight loss outcomes on their beliefs about weight control, body dissatisfaction and self-esteem. This information is valuable for health care providers and educators working with young women.

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Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-0980

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2006

Amy Jennings, V. Costarelli, G.J. Davies and P.W. Dettmar

Several recent observational studies detected inverse associations between dietary calcium intake and body weight. It was demonstrated that low calcium diets lead to an…

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Abstract

Purpose

Several recent observational studies detected inverse associations between dietary calcium intake and body weight. It was demonstrated that low calcium diets lead to an increase in intracellular calcium concentrations, which in turn act to promote body fat deposition, reduce lipolysis and reduce thermogenesis. Most of the studies have been conducted on adults, however, it was recently demonstrated that longitudinal calcium intake is negatively associated with children's body fat levels. The purpose of the current study is to investigate possible associations between habitual calcium intake and body weight in a group of 7–10 years old children.

Design/methodology/approach

Eighty‐five children, 21 boys and 64 girls (mean age: 9.2±0.9) were recruited from 12 primary schools in the London area. Dietary intake was measured using the 7‐day weighed inventory method. Body weight and height measurements were also recorded.

Findings

Data suggested that girls have significantly lower intakes of calcium than boys and that 48 per cent of boys and 38 per cent of girls were overweight (above the 91st centile). However, there were no significant correlations between body weight or body mass index (BMI) and habitual intake of dietary calcium in this age group, which is in contrast with the results of similar studies conducted in adults.

Originality/value

One explanation could be that the possible effect of calcium on adiposity and body weight is more pronounced in adulthood than in childhood. It is important for future studies to measure levels of body fat in children together with body weight in conjunction with calcium intake in order to elucidate the original hypothesis.

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Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 36 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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Article
Publication date: 12 March 2018

Reema Tayyem, Sabika Allehdan, Hiba Bawadi, Georgianna Tuuri, Mariam Al-Mannai and Abdulrahman Obaid Musaiger

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the associations between adolescents’ perceptions of their parents’ and peers’ opinions about body weight and their actual weight status.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the associations between adolescents’ perceptions of their parents’ and peers’ opinions about body weight and their actual weight status.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 795 Jordanian adolescents, 15-18 years of age, were recruited in this study. Adolescents completed a questionnaire to evaluate their perceptions: about how their parents’ and peers’ viewed their weight, regarding any criticism of their parents and peers about their weight and if their parents compared their weight against their siblings.

Findings

The study found that the majority of non-overweight adolescents thought their parents and peers considered them to have a normal weight (94.9 and 94.6 per cent for boys, 76.6 and 85.5 per cent for girls, respectively). For obese girls, 83.4 per cent thought their parents and 91.7 per cent thought their peers perceived them as overweight. The risk of being obese was significantly related to the amount of parental criticism perceived by adolescent girls with OR = 3.9 (95 per cent CI: 1.6-9.4; P = 0.01), while perception of peer criticism showed an increased trend of risk for obesity in boys. Adolescents’ perceptions regarding parental comparisons between their body weights against their siblings’ body weight was found to increase the risk for obesity significantly among girls.

Originality/value

The current study highlights that most of the obese adolescents perceived that their parents and peers underestimated their actual weight status. While obese boys were more likely to report being criticized about their body shape by their peers, obese girls indicated that they received more criticism about their weight from their parents.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 48 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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Article
Publication date: 9 February 2010

M. Hourdakis, D. Papandreou, P. Malindretos, D. Vassilakou, N. Papastergiou, D. Tantsidis and D. Kouvelas

It is commonly asserted that a lot of people may gain about 2.5 kg of weight or more over holiday periods, however data are limited. The purpose of this paper is to assess…

Abstract

Purpose

It is commonly asserted that a lot of people may gain about 2.5 kg of weight or more over holiday periods, however data are limited. The purpose of this paper is to assess potential changes that may occur in body weight, body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference during Easter holidays.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 138 college students participate in the study in the morning after a 12 h fasting. Body weight is assessed using an electronic scale (Seca ± 0.1 g), wearing minimal clothing. Paired t‐test is used to assess changes in body weight before and after a holiday period.

Findings

The mean (±SD) weight increases significantly during the holiday period (+1.5 ± 2.4 kg, p < 0.001) and (+1.7 ± 1.3 kg, p < 0.001) for both males and females, respectively. When subjects are classified by BMI as normal or overweight (OW)/obese, a significant 2.6 ± 3.5 kg gain is found (p < 0.05) in the OW/obese group (≥25 kg/m2). The average holiday gain is less than what is commonly asserted. This gain is not usually reversed and may contribute to the increase of body weight that frequently occurs during adulthood.

Research limitations/implications

A convenience sample (college students), rather than a population‐based sample is used; also the activity level of the subjects is not measured, which might influence the body weight gain.

Originality/value

The paper should be of value to nutritionists and clinical dietetics.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 40 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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Book part
Publication date: 18 September 2018

Patricia Drew

This study examines weight loss surgery patients’ experiences with vanity stigma. First, the research explores if and how vanity stigma occurrences differ for female and…

Abstract

Purpose

This study examines weight loss surgery patients’ experiences with vanity stigma. First, the research explores if and how vanity stigma occurrences differ for female and male surgery patients. Second, the research interrogates the role of this stigma in shaping patients’ feelings about their bodies.

Methodology/approach

The data stems from qualitative interviews (n = 44) and surveys (n = 55) with pre-operative and post-operative weight loss surgery patients. The author used narrative interview analysis to inductively identify and analyze prevalent themes.

Findings

Participants’ stigma experiences are differentiated by gender. Approximately half of female participants reported perceiving vanity stigma. Women who faced negative accusations were likely to distance themselves from such claims by citing personal disinterest in their bodies, whereas women who did not perceive vanity accusations were likely to express approval and pleasure in their post-weight loss bodies. Men, in contrast, were not accused of vanity. Men frequently characterized their post-surgical, post-weight loss bodies as having utilitarian value.

Research limitations/implications

The study concludes that gender norms play a role in shaping bariatric surgery patients’ experiences with vanity stigma and body-related feelings. Limitations include the small number (n = 9) of male participants and the lack of a representative sampling frame for bariatric surgery patients.

Originality/value

Previous studies have not explored how gender shapes bariatric surgery patients’ experiences with appearance-related social scrutiny. This chapter adds to existing research on gendered body norms and reveals gendered dimensions of vanity stigma.

Details

Gender, Women’s Health Care Concerns and Other Social Factors in Health and Health Care
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-175-5

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Article
Publication date: 9 October 2007

Yi‐lin Kwok, Kar‐yin Wong, Bo‐an Ying, Kit‐lun Yick, Li Yi and Yeung Chap‐yung

The purpose of this paper is to present anthropometric measurements on 42 premature infants nursed in the neonatal intensive care unit of Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong.

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1249

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present anthropometric measurements on 42 premature infants nursed in the neonatal intensive care unit of Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong.

Design/methodology/approach

Birth information, including maturity, age, gender, birth weight and present weight, were recorded. About 13 body size measurements, including stature, hand girth, armscye girth, chest girth, arm length, max girth, abdomen girth, hand length, thigh girth, shoulder width, head to nape length, inside leg to heel length and foot length, were measured for each infant. Using these data, the body size distribution, the correlation between each body size measurement, and linear regressions of present weight and stature with other body size measurement were analyzed.

Findings

It was found that present weight and stature of premature infants were the most desirable and significant size parameters for the development of a measurement chart for premature infants.

Originality/value

The paper provides anthropometric measurement details of premature infants.

Details

International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology, vol. 19 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-6222

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Article
Publication date: 10 February 2021

Erin Yildirim Rieger, Laura Terragni and Elzbieta Anna Czapka

The purpose of this study is to explore beliefs and experiences of Turkish immigrant women in Norway related to body weight, nutrition and exercise practices.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore beliefs and experiences of Turkish immigrant women in Norway related to body weight, nutrition and exercise practices.

Design/methodology/approach

This study has a qualitative research design. Ten semi-structured interviews and a focus group were conducted with a purposive sample of Turkish immigrant women residing in Oslo, Norway. Themes were identified in the transcripts using systematic text condensation.

Findings

Participants viewed Turkish women as more commonly overweight or obese compared to Norwegian women. Weight was discussed openly among Turkish women and a preference to lose weight, both as individuals and among community members more broadly, also emerged. For participants, this represented a generational shift. Participants identified their barriers to weight loss, including norms around socialization and food in their community and exercise and eating practices during the long Nordic winter.

Practical implications

Participants expressed a tension between concern about health impacts of overweight and obesity and the desire to uphold cultural practices around food. Weight-related health-care initiatives for Turkish immigrant women can take into account such experiences shaped by their interaction with multiple cultures.

Originality/value

Participants emphasized that perspectives about weight in their Turkish immigrant community were influenced by the transition toward thin weight ideals in Turkey. Self-image regarding weight was also situated within the context of being immigrants in Norway.

Details

International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-9894

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