Barriers and facilitators to weight loss among young adults aged 18-25 years undertaking weight loss programs in Makerere University
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Maintenance of healthy weight is important for obesity management among young adults. However, little is known about weight loss strategies used by the young adults in Makerere University or the facilitators and barriers to weight loss that they experience while undertaking weight loss programs. Objective: This study aimed to determine weight loss strategies used to lose weight, barriers and facilitators to weight loss and the nutrition knowledge level of overweight/obese young adults undertaking weight loss programs in Makerere University after nutrition counseling. Methods: A cross sectional study was carried out on 60 participants using pretested interviewer-administered questionnaires during health campaigns around Makerere University. Standardized weighing scales, stadiometers and measuring tapes were used to collect anthropometric measurements. Data was computed into SPSS to obtain multiple variable frequencies and graphs. Results: The most commonly used weight loss dietary strategies were; low fat diets (37.3%), meal skipping (30.5%) and low carbohydrate diets (27.1%). Jogging (53.8%), running (42.3%) and climbing stairs (40.4%) were the most reported physical activities. The most common barriers faced were; laziness (68.3%), lack of time (68.3%) and lack of accountability partners (48.3%) while love for a healthy lifestyle (83.3%), self-motivation (71.7%) and having knowledge about the health risks of obesity (68.3%) were the most reported facilitators. The mean score for nutrition knowledge level after nutrition counseling was 85%. Conclusion: Many young adults used more than one strategy to lose weight. Laziness was the most experienced barrier while love for a healthy lifestyle was the most experienced facilitator. Although high scores of nutrition knowledge level were obtained after counseling of young adults in Makerere University, behavioral change is a process hence a multimodal nutrition education intervention should be adopted.