Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 94–104

What Distinguishes Weight-Loss Maintainers from the Treatment-Seeking Obese? Analysis of Environmental, Behavioral, and Psychosocial Variables in Diverse Populations

  • Suzanne Phelan
  • Tao Liu
  • Amy Gorin
  • Michael Lowe
  • Joseph Hogan
  • Joseph Fava
  • Rena R. Wing
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s12160-009-9135-2

Cite this article as:
Phelan, S., Liu, T., Gorin, A. et al. ann. behav. med. (2009) 38: 94. doi:10.1007/s12160-009-9135-2

Abstract

Background

Understanding the factors that influence successful weight control is critical for developing interventions.

Purpose

The purpose of the study was to provide a comprehensive understanding of the role of psychosocial, environmental, and behavioral variables in distinguishing weight-loss maintainers (WLM) from treatment-seeking obese (TSO).

Methods

WLM (n = 167) had lost ≥10% of their maximum body weight, had kept the weight off for ≥5 years, and were now of normal weight. TSO-1 and TSO-2 had a history of dieting and body mass index ≥25. TSO-1 was predominantly Caucasian; TSO-2 was predominantly African-American. Bayesian model averaging was used to identify the variables that distinguished WLM from TSO-1 and TSO-2.

Results

The variables that most consistently discriminated WLM from TSO were more physical activity (ORs = 3.95 and 2.85), more dietary restraint (ORs = 1.63 and 1.41), and less dietary disinhibition (ORs = 0.69 and 0.83). Environmental variables, including the availability of physical activity equipment, TVs, and high-fat foods in the home, also distinguished WLM from TSO.

Conclusions

Obesity treatment should focus on increasing conscious control over eating, engaging in physical activity, and reducing disinhibition. Changes in the home environment may help facilitate these behavioral changes.

Keywords

Multiple health behaviors Weight control Successful weight losers Diverse populations 

Copyright information

© The Society of Behavioral Medicine 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suzanne Phelan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tao Liu
    • 3
  • Amy Gorin
    • 4
  • Michael Lowe
    • 5
  • Joseph Hogan
    • 3
  • Joseph Fava
    • 6
  • Rena R. Wing
    • 2
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of KinesiologyCalifornia Polytechnic State UniversitySan Luis ObispoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Human BehaviorBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  3. 3.Department of Community Health, Center for Statistical SciencesBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA
  5. 5.Department of PsychologyDrexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  6. 6.The Miriam HospitalWeight Control and Diabetes Research CenterProvidenceUSA

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