Family food providers’ perceptions of the causes of obesity and effectiveness of weight control strategies in five countries in the Asia Pacific region: A cross-sectional survey

Anthony Worsley, Wei Wang, Rani Sarmugam, Quynh Pham, Judhiastuty Februhartanty, Stacey Ridley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The rise of the middle classes in developing countries and the associated epidemiological transition raises the importance of assessing this population group’s awareness of the causes of obesity and effective weight control strategies in order to develop effective health promotion strategies. The study aimed to examine the perceptions of the causes of obesity and weight control strategies held by middle class household food providers in Melbourne, Singapore, Shanghai, Indonesia and Vietnam. An online survey was conducted in late 2013, early 2014 among 3945 respondents. Information about body weight concerns, perceived causes of obesity, effectiveness of weight control methods, demographics, self-reported height and weight, and personal values was elicited. Confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) derived nine reliable factors which were used in structural equation modeling (SEM). Two thirds of respondents were trying to change their body weight, of them, 71% were trying to lose weight. The CFA and SEM showed that demographics, region of residence, personal values and perceptions of the causes of obesity (Unhealthy food behaviours, influences Beyond personal control and Environmental influences) had direct and indirect associations with three weight control methods factors, named: Healthy habits, Eat less, sit less, and Dieting. Middle class food providers in the study regions share public health views of obesity causation and personal weight control. These findings could inform public health and food policies, and the design of public health interventions and communications. Further research is required among lower socio economic status (SES) populations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number78
Number of pages14
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Asia Pacific
  • Food providers
  • Obesity
  • Perceptions
  • Survey
  • Weight concerns

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