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Población y Salud en Mesoamérica

versão On-line ISSN 1659-0201


MARTINEZ-JAIKEL, Tatiana  e  DEBEAUSSET-STATON, Indira. Desirable characteristics of an educational program for excess weight women of the Central County of Alajuela, Costa Rica, according to women and health professionals. PSM [online]. 2020, vol.18, n.1, pp.397-424. ISSN 1659-0201.


In Costa Rica, according to the second 2014 cardiovascular risk factor surveillance survey, excess body weight reaches 70.6% in women. Excess body weight has multiple consequences for women´s physical and emotional health. That problem has been addressed taking into consideration the criteria of health professionals, without consulting the women with excess body weight.


To identify the desirable characteristics of an educational program for excess weight women of the province of Alajuela, Costa Rica, taking into consideration both health personnel and excess weight women´s opinions.


We conducted two discussion groups, 5 focus groups, 7 in-depth Interviews, and 2 member-checking sessions with 28 women, and a survey with 16 health personnel from different disciplines.


For most of the women and all the health personnel, the program must have three components: nutrition, psychology, and physical activity. For both, it should be a group program with some individual sessions. For women, the program should motivate them, “exercise control” over them, and offer a structured diet plan which they can follow.


A weight loss program for excess weight women should be a group therapy. It should have three components: nutritional education, promoting physical activity and addressing emotional factors. It is recommended to work in an interdisciplinary team that should have a Nutritionist.

Palavras-chave : obesity; health personnel; group therapy; qualitative research.

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