Individuals' Lived Experience of Obesity in Columbia, South Carolina

Date of Conferral





Health Services


Kimberly Dixon-Lawson


An increasing number of adults are plagued with weight problems in the United States. Approximately 34.9%, or 78.6 million, in the United States is obese.Obesity and overweight cost the United States about $150 billion, which is 10% of the annual budget. The Health Belief Model was used as a framework for the study.The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the lived experiences of 10 obese or overweight adults in Columbia, South Carolina. Participants were purposefully selected and interviewed face to face and recorded based on the phenomenological approach. NVivo11 for Windows was used for data coding, organization, and analysis. All 10 participants had a general idea of what society perceives as 'healthy' Data were coded and analyzed to reveal three themes: changing food culture, experiencing physical activities, and understanding overall well-being. Findings may be used to develop preventive measures to improve obese and overweight individuals' quality of life.

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