This research study aimed to understand and explore the lived experiences of and the essence of the experience of being obese among teenage girls in Cebu City. This study had 6 informants aged 12 to 19 years old who were considered to be obese, having a Body Mass Index (BMI) that was greater than 30 kg/m², obtained through criterion sampling. The informants underwent a series of interviews for data gathering. This research used the Heideggerian phenomenological design and van Manen methodology.
The data synthesized produced four essential themes: Down in the Dumps, The War Within, The Masquerade, and Even the Darkest Night Ends. The first theme, Down in the Dumps, covers on how society itself have brought the obese girls lower through bullying and discrimination and had two subthemes: The Words that Choke and The Great Pull. The second essential theme, The War Within, is all about the inner struggles they feel inside them, which in turn, produced two subthemes: An Inner Struggle and The Ball and Chain. Third is The Masquerade, having a subtheme Dress to Impress which narrates their coping mechanisms- avoidance, denial, and compensation - as a mean of masking their true feelings from the world. The final essential theme, Even the Darkest Night Ends, talks about how they now begin to rise from their lowest point to a higher sense of confidence and self-worth. This theme has two subthemes: The Sun will Rise and The Break of Dawn.
This research had found out that these obese teenage girls feel conflicting emotions of empowerment, as they love themselves. They are proud of who they are, and hurt as they are discriminated, bullied, and treated unfairly by society, that they are having contradictory feelings about their obesity. The researchers then recommended to the families and to the society to be more open and more sensitive. They also recommended to the healthcare providers to also focus on the emotional care of these patients. Lastly, to the future researchers to discover more from the obese teenage girls and bring this study to newer heights.