Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Men's reactions to receiving objective feedback on their weight, BMI and other health risk indicators
Author(s): Donnachie, Craig
Wyke, Sally
Hunt, Kathryn
Keywords: Health risk status
Behaviour change
Men’s health
Weight loss intervention
Issue Date: 27-Feb-2018
Citation: Donnachie C, Wyke S & Hunt K (2018) Men's reactions to receiving objective feedback on their weight, BMI and other health risk indicators, BMC Public Health, 18 (1), Art. No.: 291.
Abstract: Background  Receiving information about one’s weight, Body Mass Index (BMI) and other indicators of health risk may prompt behaviour change. This study investigated men’s reactions to receiving information on indicators of health risk prior to taking part in a men-only weight management programme, Football Fans in Training (FFIT). It also investigated the extent to which the information was reported as influencing lifestyle change and having adverse consequences.  Methods  We undertook a qualitative, semi-structured, telephone interview study with 28 men who took part in FFIT. We sought to interview approximately equal numbers of men who had and had not lost 5% or more of their pre-programme body weight by the end of the 12-week programme. Data were analysed thematically utilising principles of framework analysis.  Results  Some men were apprehensive about receiving information which confirmed their overweight/obese status, particularly those less familiar with having similar information fed back to them. The professional football setting and the people present (including other men on the programme whom they perceived to be ‘like them’ and the fieldwork staff) were important factors in making the men feel comfortable in an otherwise potentially threatening situation. Men who achieved greater weight loss were more likely to report being motivated by this pre-programme feedback and to perceive themselves as responsible for their current weight and health status. However, for others the information only reaffirmed what they suspected about their relatively poor health status and was insufficient to prompt behaviour change.  Conclusion  Undertaking measurements and receiving information on health risk indicators, such as weight or BMI, within the context of behaviour change programmes can enhance motivation for behaviour change when communicated in an empathic and non-stigmatising way, and therefore should be considered as an integral part of interventions. However, providing feedback on health risk may be insufficient to prompt behaviour change in some people and may be detrimental to those with poor body image and/or lacking personal agency to adopt lifestyle changes. It is therefore imperative that adequate support and opportunities are made available when information on weight and disease risk are fed back within research or other settings.
DOI Link:
Rights: © The Author(s). 2018 This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
s12889-018-5179-1.pdf495 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

This item is protected by original copyright

Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.