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Perceived Benefits and Barriers Related to Postpartum Weight Loss of Overweight/Obese Postpartum WIC Participants

Lambert, Laurel PhD, RD; Raidl, Martha PhD, RD; Safaii, SeAnne MS, RD; Conner, Carolyn RD, CDE; Geary, Emily J. MS, RD; Ault, Susan BSN, CNP

Research Reports for Practitioners

The purpose of this study was to elucidate the perceived benefits and barriers related to weight loss in a group of overweight/obese postpartum WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) program participants and identify intervention measures that the WIC program can implement to support participants' weight loss efforts. Focus group discussions were held with 25 overweight/obese postpartum WIC participants. Participants identified higher self-esteem, the ability to be more physically active, better health, and less societal prejudices toward them as benefits to losing weight. Barriers to weight loss included lack of personal effort, lack of social support, inadequate finances, and low self-esteem. Participants believed that group support weight loss programs modeled after Weight Watchers® would be beneficial.

School of Applied Sciences, University of Mississippi, University (Dr Lambert); the University of Idaho Boise Center (Dr Raidl), Idaho State Department of Education (Ms Safaii), and Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (Mss Conner, Geary, and Ault), Boise, Idaho.

Corresponding author: Laurel Lambert, PhD, RD, School of Applied Sciences, University of Mississippi, PO Box 1848, University, MS 38677 (e-mail:

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.