This research applies to women ages 36 to 52 and their struggles through weight gain into weight loss in accordance to the medical, social, and personal factors bestowed upon them. I conducted nine in-depth interviews with seven women and two medical professionals to give their personal experiences and opinions on the subject of weight gain and loss. Within these interviews, the main topics were the weight loss industry, medical opinion, family, and personal issues with media images and comparisons to other women. These interviews showed that there is a communication gap between this age group of women and the medical field. Women are more in tune to social media rather than their health, while the medical professionals believed this to be the opposite. For weight gain, there were numerous reasoning's to why women in their middle-ages gain weight, with motherhood being highlighted. This age group also has a more holistic view on weight loss, where they focus more on lifestyle changes rather than specific numbers. To lose weight, all of the women spent a certain amount of money, whether it was a weight loss program, health foods, gym memberships, or a simple workout DVD. Within this, they depend on their family members for support and motivation.


Matsuzawa, Setsuko


Sociology and Anthropology


Gender and Sexuality | Medicine and Health

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2012 Lauren Swinehart