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Table 4 Example quotes by Focus Group (FG) participants related to “Promotion and Sustainability of Healthy Behaviors” theme

From: Military service and other socioecological factors influencing weight and health behavior change in overweight and obese Veterans: a qualitative study to inform intervention development within primary care at the United States Veterans Health Administration

Number Factor Quote FGa
1 Knowledge, Lack of motivation You know what’s funny, everybody in this room seems to know why it’s important to lose weight…So, it’s one thing to know about something, and something else to act on it and do something about it. M1
2 Family support I will be 70 in February. I have an 11-year-old daughter at home. I want to live to at least 100. And I will do whatever I need to do physically to accomplish that. M3A
3 Emotional eating …this population is more receptive to stress…they are in conditions from the war where they are disabled or they have other issues and as a result, stress causes you to eat in funny ways, you see? And you eat all the time, you trying to kill the stress. M3A
4 Personal Finances When I was on a diet, believe me, I stood broke because if I wanted to eat the proper foods, you have to pay… money flies when you’re on a diet. M2
5 Goal vs. plan A goal [is] sort of like the destination…the plan is how you get to that destination. F2
6 Tracking goals The goal setting, I just write everything down and check it off. Because when you see it you’re gonna do it. F1
7 Against goal setting It’s unobtainable…something you strive for. It becomes then an exercise of frustration and agony and disappointment. M3A
8 Technology (positive) Veterans love information so we can set goals, chart it, have it there, constantly input how we’re doing, being able to compare that and see that. M3B
9 Technology (negative) Here’s the problem…The internet can be a very dangerous thing. Sure you can find the good information, but you can find some stuff that will absolutely kill you. M3A
10 Abundance of food availability In the military, a lot of people didn’t bring big plates of food for everybody. Then you go to work here…I brought a plate of muffins in for everybody and they just set it down. M2
11 Food hormones When we grew up there we no such things as human growth hormones and GMOs [genetically modified food] and all of that kind of stuff. M3A
12 Food advertising We [are] constantly being bombarded with images of food…we subconsciously believe we won’t be happy unless we have that Big Mac or those fries… M3B
   Healthcare System
13 Tailored information [The dietician] did the portion size, this is what you should eat, this is what you shouldn’t eat, but unfortunately…it wasn’t specifically tailored to me… F2
14 Research before doctor visit RESPONDENT 1: I think it is important that all persons that go to the doctor for whatever reason in some, it should be in some form, I can’t say completely educated but have some knowledge about – it is just, if you are going to the doctor about a gallbladder condition… M3B
RESPONDENT 2: Thank you. Google it! Google it!
15 Program feedback I was recommended to go to the MOVE! program, but after I found out what it was about I didn’t want to do it because I wanted to be on a structured exercise regimen, because I didn’t want to stop eating. M3A
  1. aM male focus group, F female focus group