Weight changes : the meaning of food and eating behaviours amongst women in recovery from substance addiction

Ashter, Suzanne (2014) Weight changes : the meaning of food and eating behaviours amongst women in recovery from substance addiction. Doctoral thesis, London Metropolitan University.

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Abstract / Description

During the period of recovery from drug and alcohol misuse the individual starts to move gradually away from former habits and patterns of thinking whilst learning new skills, however returning to a normal diet can be challenging for many recovering substance misusers. Studies involving substance misuse have mainly focused on weight changes and eating behaviours during active substance addiction, whilst research on how substance misusers experience weight changes and how they describe the functions and meaning of food and eating behaviours in recovery from substance addiction is scarce.

This is a qualitative study using a constructivist grounded theory approach which aimed to explicate the experiences of food, eating and weight changes from eight women in different stages of recovery (ranging from early, mid and late recovery) from drug and alcohol addiction. The areas identified from ‘the meaning of food’ included: substituting alcohol with food, structure and social benefits. The areas identified from ‘weight changes’ included: weight gain and weight loss, and the areas identified from ‘eating behaviours’ included: distorted eating and dieting. The findings lead to an emerging theory that indicated: ‘Food during recovery involved providing structure to the day, enjoyment of social eating and substituting alcohol with food, particularly sugar rich foods during early recovery to 1. Replace the substances by filling a void, 2. Satisfy the cravings and urges experienced from the substances and 3. Experience a change in mood. The excessive intake of sugar rich food caused weight gain and in turn resulted in dieting and distorted eating behaviours later in recovery’.

The theory that emerged from this research should prove useful to substance misuse facilities in order to enhance and incorporate nutrition education into treatment programmes to address food, eating and weight issues faced by women in recovery from substance addiction.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: uk.bl.ethos.629449
Uncontrolled Keywords: substance abuse (psychological aspects); alcoholism (psychological aspects); drug addiction (psychological aspects); obesity (psychological aspects); obesity in women; food behaviours; eating behaviours
Subjects: 600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
Department: School of Social Sciences (to June 2021)
School of Social Sciences and Professions
Depositing User: Mary Burslem
Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2016 13:44
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2021 16:03
URI: https://repository.londonmet.ac.uk/id/eprint/713


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