Influence of men’s attempts to change diet and physical activity on their partners: Qualitative evidence from FFIT participants

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Abstract

How do men’s attempts to change diet and physical activity to manage their weight influence cohabiting female partners?

Purpose: Although some weight loss interventions for men have proved successful, there is still a need to understand how this process influences their family members, especially because changing behaviours such as dietary practices and physical activity take place within a household context. This study explored how men’s attempts to change their behaviours to lose weight and maintain weight-loss influenced their cohabiting female partners, within the context of Football Fans in Training (FFIT), a gender-sensitised weight management and healthy living programme for overweight/obese men. This paper’s novelty lies in its exploration of the ripple effect which men’s attempts to make changes to dietary practices and physical activity had on their partners.

Methods: Separate semi-structured face-to-face interviews were conducted with 20 men and their cohabiting female partner, 3-12 months after the men had completed FFIT. These explored experiences around the man’s participation in FFIT and subsequent attempts to change dietary practices and physical activity. Using a framework approach, data were thematically analysed by combining individual interviews for dyadic analysis. Analysis was guided by Self-Determination, Gender and Interdependence theories.

Results/Findings : It was evident that women’s own involvement in men’s attempt to make changes through coediting and coactivity along with the ripple effect of the changes made for and/or by the men resulted in mostly positive changes in women’s dietary practices, and, to a lesser degree, their physical activity. Varied levels of both women’s involvement and men’s resoluteness, reliance on/receptiveness to partner in the process of making changes to each practice contributed to the varied level of impact on each practice for women.

Conclusions: This paper explores the ripple effect on women’s dietary practices and physical activity caused by their male partner’s attempts to change these practices as part of a weight management programme. The paper highlights the importance, and the bidirectional nature, of health behaviour change in a cohabiting couple’s context . The findings could inform how health interventions aimed at one individual’s behaviour changes can maximise their impact by considering the potential benefits, to other family members, of the ripple effect of this process.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019
Event2019 Annual Conference of the ISBNPA (International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity) - Prague Congress, Prague, CZECH REPUBLIC
Duration: 3 Jun 20197 Jun 2019

Conference

Conference2019 Annual Conference of the ISBNPA (International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity)
CountryCZECH REPUBLIC
CityPrague
Period3/06/197/06/19

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Influence of men’s attempts to change diet and physical activity on their partners: Qualitative evidence from FFIT participants'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this