A qualitative assessment of barriers and facilitators to achieving behavior goals among obese inner-city adolescents in a weight management program

Document Type



Family Medicine


Purpose: The purpose of this study was (1) to examine the reasons for managing weight, (2) to investigate the barriers and facilitators to achieving behavior goals, and (3) to assess how a behavior coach affects the goal-setting process of obese inner-city adolescents in a weight management program.
Methods: Obese adolescents participating in a pilot study assessing the role of a behavior coach on successful weight management (n = 18) were interviewed to identify barriers and facilitators to reaching behavior goals. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and the constant comparative method of qualitative analysis.
Results: In the rationale for weight control, adolescent girls and boys reported a desire to improve physical appearance and physical conditioning, respectively. Barriers to reaching physical activity goals among girls included unsafe neighborhoods and a negative body image. Maintaining unrealistic behavior and weight goals hindered satisfaction with behavior change and weight loss in both genders. Overall, coaching provided support that helped the obese teens feel more successful in the goal-setting process and address issues related to their disruptive environments.
Conclusions: Diabetes educators can include a behavior coach as part of a weight management program to help teens set behavior goals and overcome barriers to reaching behavior goals.


Diabetes Educator

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.