Coping in an Obesogenic Environment: The Perceptions of Women who Compulsively Overeat
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Individuals who compulsively overeat are a marginalized group within the realm of disordered eating and are underserved by health professionals. Those with weight issues may struggle to find the resources they need to overcome their eating behaviours because they may be seen as “failed dieters” because traditional approaches to weight loss are not necessarily appropriate. This qualitative study explored the experiences of overweight and obese Nova Scotian women who compulsively overeat to better understand environmental determinants influencing their behaviour. Based on social ecological theory, photo-elicitation and semi-structured interviews with six women were used to gather in-depth and contextual information about weight-related motivations and obstacles to appropriate support. This study identified several environmental barriers these women face in maintaining a healthy weight, such as food marketing; however, their lack of coping skills prove that policy changes are necessary to decrease obesity rates.