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Lessons learned about primary weight maintenance and secondary weight maintenance: results from a qualitative study

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Public Health, June 2015
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (88th percentile)

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17 tweeters
1 Facebook page


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96 Mendeley
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Lessons learned about primary weight maintenance and secondary weight maintenance: results from a qualitative study
Published in
BMC Public Health, June 2015
DOI 10.1186/s12889-015-1930-z
Pubmed ID

Ann Reilly, Barbara Mawn, Davide Susta, Anthony Staines, Sarah Browne, Mary Rose Sweeney


Obesity is now a worldwide problem and Ireland is no exception with approximately two thirds of the adult population now overweight or obese. A recent report has found that 53 % of Irish adults aged 50 years and over are classified as centrally obese and at substantially increased risk of metabolic complications. While most studies investigating weight maintenance have been conducted on those who have managed to lose weight and/or achieved weight loss maintenance (secondary weight maintainers), few studies have been undertaken to understand the attitudes, behaviours, motivations and strategies of those who maintain their weight within normal weight ranges over their lifetime, so called primary weight maintainers. This study aims to explore this issue through qualitative exploration of primary weight maintainers in an Irish University. Seven focus groups were conducted (including three single interviews) with 17 participants in total across three different groups, 1) primary weight maintainers, 2) secondary weight maintainers, and 3) those unable to sustain or achieve weight loss. The interviews were transcribed and thematic analysis was applied to interpret the findings. After analyzing the participant's interviews, planning and organization or lack of, emerged as themes across the three groups in varying degrees. Strategizing, perseverance and willpower were seen as integral to weight maintenance and weight loss in groups one and two, these were lacking in group three. Prioritizing exercise and perseverance in maintaining a high level of activity was evident in groups one and two and was lacking in group three. Motivational influences were equal across the groups however, group three found it difficult to turn this into action. Group one had behavioural control of calorie intake maintaining a balance between week and weekend eating. Group three found it difficult to control calorie intake and portion size. Self-image differed across the three groups with cognitive dissonance evident amongst those in group three. This study showed that there are many factors that influence primary weight maintenance. Considering that we live in a society that is predominantly sedentary, predominantly overweight and with poor food choice options facing us every day, fighting our way through to ensure healthy weight maintenance requires active, conscious efforts. The factors identified in this study which are important in healthy weight maintenance are all potentially modifiable with life-coach, nutrition, exercise and cognitive interventions particularly if peer support and a whole family approach are incorporated.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 17 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 96 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 96 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 15 16%
Student > Bachelor 13 14%
Student > Ph. D. Student 10 10%
Student > Doctoral Student 9 9%
Researcher 7 7%
Other 18 19%
Unknown 24 25%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Nursing and Health Professions 19 20%
Medicine and Dentistry 19 20%
Social Sciences 8 8%
Psychology 7 7%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 5 5%
Other 13 14%
Unknown 25 26%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 14. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 01 November 2020.
All research outputs
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Outputs from BMC Public Health
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Outputs of similar age
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Outputs of similar age from BMC Public Health
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Altmetric has tracked 19,256,662 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 90th percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 12,671 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 13.4. This one has done well, scoring higher than 82% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 241,513 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 88% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 1 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them