Original Research

Factors influencing weight control practices amongst the adolescent girls in Vhembe District of Limpopo Province, South Africa

Rose A. Tshililo, Lizzy M. Netshikweta, Grace T. Tshitangano, Hilda L. Nemathaga
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 8, No 2 | a952 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v8i2.952 | © 2016 Rose A. Tshililo, Lizzy M. Netshikweta, Grace T. Tshitangano, Hilda L. Nemathaga | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 July 2015 | Published: 31 May 2016

About the author(s)

Rose A. Tshililo, Department of Advanced Nursing Science, University of Venda, South Africa
Lizzy M. Netshikweta, Department of Advanced Nursing Science, University of Venda, South Africa
Grace T. Tshitangano, Department Public Health, University of Venda,, South Africa
Hilda L. Nemathaga, Department of Advanced Nursing Science, University of Venda, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: The incidence of overweight is increasing amongst adolescents in many countries around the world. Healthy and unhealthy weight control practices are common amongst overweight and non-overweight adolescents.

Aim: The aim of this study was to explore factors influencing weight control practices amongst adolescent girls. Setting: The study was conducted at selected secondary schools of Vhembe District of Limpopo Province, South Africa.

Methods: A qualitative, exploratory, descriptive and contextual design was used. Nonprobability, purposive sampling was used to select adolescents who are practicing weight control. In-depth interviews were conducted with 30 participants. Data were analysed according to Tesch’s open-coding method.

Results: This study revealed that adolescent girls are influenced by a variety of factors to control their weights. These included individual factors, such as body image dissatisfaction; family factors, caused by parental criticism about adolescent weight; and environmental factors, which contain peer group endorsement of dieting.

Conclusion: Adolescents are exposed to many unhealthy weight control practices, as a way of controlling excess weight. So it is of importance for healthcare providers to make them aware of healthy practices.


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