Experiences of Obesity Management of Thai Muslim Women

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Rusmeena Nima
Quantar Balthip
Pongtep Suteeravut


          This research is a phenomenological study using Hermeneutics’ Philosophy. The study is aimed to describe and explain the experiences of obesity management in Thai Muslim women. Informants were recruited into the study through purposive sampling and snowball sampling from November, 2012 to September, 2013. Eleven Muslim women experienced in managing their obesity living in the provinces of Narathiwat, Yala, Pattani, Songkhla and Phatthalung participated in the study. The data were collected by using in-depth interviews, non-participation observation, field study recording and tape recording. Data were analyzed using the Van Manen data analysis method.

          The findings explained the phenomenon of obesity management in Thai Muslim women. The participants defined the meaning of obesity in three categories: 1) abnormally shaped asymmetry; 2) being disgusted with oneself leading to feelings of inferiority; and 3) warning signs of chronic disease and death. The participants’ gave the meaning to these experiences through four key aspects: 1) doing good for god; 2) commitment to goals in life; 3) finding solutions for good health; and 4) practice it until it is a part of life. The participants managed their obesity by using 3 key methods; intellectual or spiritual management; physical management; and social management. Intellectual or spiritual management included: 1) awareness of the side effects of obesity and application of lessons as a reminder, 2) having a good attitude (Niet) for Allah, 3) goal setting and determination of certain fatness management, and 4) consciousness of not indulging in eating and establishing encouragement. Physical management included: 1) choosing to eat food related to Islamic Principles; 2) continuous exercise consistent with the Muslim lifestyle; and 3) the fast and detoxification to reduce fatness. Social management included: 1) establishment of spiritual power for weight reduction from the individual prototype and; 2) following the dietary rules of the community.

          The results of this research are useful for the health care team and concerned people to determine resolutions towards obesity management of Thai Muslim women which are concordant with a Muslim context.


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Nima, R., Balthip, Q., & Suteeravut, P. (2015). Experiences of Obesity Management of Thai Muslim Women. Journal of Research in Nursing-Midwifery and Health Sciences, 35(1), 1–20. Retrieved from https://he02.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/nur-psu/article/view/33088
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