A combined Tomatis and lifestyle enhancement programme for overweight female students
Worldwide, the prevalence of overweight and obesity is ascending. It is a leading public health problem and major economic burden, because of physical illnesses like congestive heart failure and psychological effects including depression, low self-esteem, frustration and disparagement of body image. Furthermore the ideal of being thin is reinforced socially and by the media. University students and adolescents are specifically vulnerable and likely to engage in potentially harmful, unhealthy weight control practices i.e. laxatives, and diet pills. In line with multi-component approaches in dealing with over weightness, the current researcher resolved to evaluate the impact of a combined Tomatis (TM) and lifestyle enhancement programme (LEP), with specific emphasis on building self-esteem in overweight female students. The investigation was aimed at assessing whether a combined Tomatis and LEP would lead to statistically significant: (i) reductions of negative mood states, with scores for Group 1, significantly exceeding scores obtained within and between the group only attending the LEP (Group 2) and the control group; (ii) enhancement of psychological well-being, self-concept and lifestyle, with scores for Group 1 exceeding scores obtained by Group 2, only attending the LEP and the control group; and (iii) reduction of Body Mass lndex (BMI). A three-group pre-post-assessment design was used. Twenty nine overweight female university students were recruited and randomly assigned to Group 1 (TM and LEP), (n=10); Group 2 LEP only), (n=10); and a non-intervention control group (Group 3, n=9). Group 1 attended an average of 58 half-hour sessions of sound Stimulation during a 3-month period and also 10 one and a half hour sessions of the LEP while Group 2 only attended the LEP. The LEP consisted of a psychological -, dietetic -, physical exercise - and clothing component. The following measurement instruments were used: A self-designed biographical questionnaire, The Profile of Mood States, Tennessee Self-concept Scale, and Sense of Coherence Scale. Both programmes proved successful in terms of reductions of negative mood states, enhanced psychological well-being and self-concept, but Body Mass lndex scores remained unchanged. The outcome of Group 1 did not significantly differ from results obtained in Group 2. Qualitatively, however, it revealed significant data. Given the time constraints and inadequate measurement of weight reduction, it is recommended that future studies involve: (i) adequate weight reduction measurement; (ii) uses larger, more homogenous samples; (iii) interventions over a longer time span to foster lifestyle enhancement; and (iv) utilizing a follow-up measurement after 3-6 months to determine retention of results.
- Humanities