The perceived role of food and eating among turkish women with obesity: A qualitative analysis

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Dikyol Mutlu A., CIHAN H., Köksal Z.

Current Psychology, 2022 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s12144-022-03778-5
  • Journal Name: Current Psychology
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, IBZ Online, BIOSIS, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, Psycinfo
  • Keywords: Body mass index, Obesity, Qualitative research, Stress-induced eating, Turkish women
  • Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University Affiliated: Yes


© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.The studies show the link between Body Mass Index (BMI) and higher food responsiveness despite negative physical, social, and psychological outcomes. The descriptive studies examining what makes individuals with higher BMI values more likely to respond to food are limited, while there is none in the Turkish sample. This study aims to understand the subjective relationship of women with obesity/overweight related to food in Turkish culture. Turkish adult women (aged 22–54) who have BMI higher than 25 (overweight/obesity) participated in semi-structured interviews focusing on how they relate to food and obesity. Participants were reached through Ankara Etlik Zübeyde Hanım Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital Obesity outpatient service. Audio-recorded interviews were analyzed predominantly inductively by thematic analysis principles. Analysis of these interviews reflected three main themes: (1) the act of eating: “I don’t know why I eat when I’m full”, (2) being overweight: “I am the kind of person who constantly tries to lose weight”, and (3) sources of distress. The results indicated the dynamic relationship between the desire to eat, chronic stress, perceived unavailability of close ones, and low sense of self-worth among adult women with obesity/overweight. The other indication is the effect of culture in shaping the relationship dynamics, the sources of distress, and the eating patterns in developing and maintaining obesity.