Diving deeply into cultural differences that impact attitudes towards body image/weight loss
Success Stories | Health

Diving deeply into cultural differences that impact attitudes towards body image/weight loss

Business Issue

Our client was preparing to launch a new medication in the obesity space. They wanted to conduct research across a variety of cultural groups to understand the nuanced perceptions and beliefs that lead to a more inclusive target patient profile for a comprehensive brand strategy.

Given cultural differences in attitudes towards body image, the role of food, dieting approaches, and expectations of relationships/interactions with HCPs, the launch team conducted interviews with African American and Hispanic respondents to identify deep-seated cultural norms which may impact their attitudes toward eventual product usage.

What We Did

To facilitate the greatest comfort and collaboration around a culturally-sensitive topic, Escalent engaged BIPOC moderators to interview self-identified African American and self-identified Hispanic patients who qualified as the target patient.

During the 60-minute IDI, respondents explored areas and Social / Cultural Norms such as:

  • Perception of “good health”
  • Cultural beauty standards
  • Food and culture / community gatherings and support
  • Interactions with HCPs
  • Reactions to the benefit statements


Escalent proposed a series of considerations to help the team to develop a more holistic and effective marketing strategy that would keep cultural nuances top of mind. These included, but were not exclusive to:

  • Awareness of cultural pitfalls
  • Sensitivity regarding a patient’s perception of “fitting in” with the dominant culture
  • The need to help all respondents feel comfortable in their own skin, by encouraging acceptance of meeting weight loss goals outside of a number on a scale/BMI
  • The challenge of encouraging the lifetime commitment of weight maintenance in the pursuit of one’s overall health when it may require transgressing cultural norms.

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