The importance of self-management in the prevention and treatment of excessive weight and obesity.

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this research into 'self-management' was to determine to what extent respondents were aware of their status as overweight or obese. For respondents who indicated that they were overweight or obese, the goal was to determine whether they tried to lose weight, what steps they took to control their, and what specific methods they used.

METHODS: Information was collected using semi-structured interviews from May 31, 2014, to January 30, 2015. Data processing was performed using statistical analysis of the social data SASDM 01/04/10 software. The total study group consisted of 600 respondents, including 302 from the Roma minority, and 298 from the non-Roma majority population (control group). Respondents were selected specifically from South Bohemia Region of the Czech Republic. The sample from the Roma minority was constructed using the snowball method (Snowball Sampling). The control sample of non-Roma was selected through quota sampling.

RESULTS: The results indicate that the respondents from both the Roma minority and the non-Roma control group generally recognized when they were overweight or obese, or they were aware of it to a much lesser extent than objective indicators revealed. More than two thirds of the respondents who admitted they were overweight or obese (N = 143) reported that they had suffered from overweight or obesity since they were young adults. Significantly more members of the majority population had tried to lose weight using self-management, whereas the level of effort was significantly less among members of the Roma minority (P = 0). Nevertheless, Roma respondents significantly more often reported (P < 0.01) that they had agreed on a specific weight loss plan with a doctor.

CONCLUSION: The results of our research show that in the context of prevention, it is important to promote self-managed skills, habits and other characteristics that can play an important role in the prevention and treatment of obesity and overweight.

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