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Scand J Caring Sci. 2010 Sep;24(3):565-71. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-6712.2009.00750.x.

Young healthy individuals develop lack of energy when adopting an obesity provoking behaviour for 4 weeks: a phenomenological analysis.

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Division of Nursing Sciences, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.


During the past 20 years, a sedentary lifestyle has become more common and simultaneously the consumption of energy-dense food has increased. These are two major risk factors associated with the increase of overweight and obesity, which is found in all ages over the world. The low well-being reported by obese individuals could be associated with increased food intake or it might be a specific consequence of obesity and lack of physical fitness. The aim of this study was to describe the experience of the phenomenon, adopting an obesity provoking behaviour, by increasing energy intake and simultaneously having a sedentary lifestyle for 4 weeks in healthy, normal-weight individuals of both genders. Eighteen healthy individuals (12 men and 6 women; median age 23, range 21-44 years) were included in an intervention, with a doubled energy intake and a maximum physical activity of 5000 steps per day during 4 weeks. After completing this intervention the participants were interviewed and asked to describe their experience during the past 4 weeks. A phenomenological approach was used to gain understanding of the phenomenon and analyses of the transcripts were performed in four steps according to Giorgis' method. The main essence of the phenomenon, adopting an obesity provoking behaviour, was found to be lack of energy, related to emotional life, relations and life habits. Lack of energy emerged from five structures: influenced self-confidence, commitment to oneself and others, managing eating, feelings of tiredness and physical impact. These five structures were manifested through 12 constituents. These lifestyle changes decreased the sense of well-being in nonobese healthy individuals of both genders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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