OBJECTIVE To explore motivation and perceived barriers towards weight loss among Danish men. DESIGN The study was of an explorative nature, using qualitative focus group interviews as a method. SETTING Copenhagen, Denmark. SUBJECTS Twenty-two overweight men, at the age of 25-44 years and motivated for weight loss, were recruited and distributed into four focus groups. The men were primarily unskilled workers. Overall 13 men participated and each group contained three or four participants. INTERVENTION The interview guide was partly structured, partly unstructured and the themes of the interviews were motives and perceived barriers towards weight loss. RESULTS Main barriers for losing weight appeared to be lack of motivation and the perception of the slimming diet. The men had a desire to have a lean appearance and avoid illness, but in all the interviews it appeared that the strongest motive for losing weight was a strong desire to become more effective and a greater asset for one's workplace. Overweight subjects were considered less effective and attractive for the labour market. CONCLUSION This study indicates that if men from lower socioeconomic backgrounds are to be motivated to weight loss the focus should not be on leanness and good health but rather on increased effectiveness and performance, and the arena should include the working place. SPONSORSHIP The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University supplied the necessary equipment and conference rooms.
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