Self-Expansion is Associated with Better Adherence and Obesity Treatment Outcomes in Adults
Previous studies have shown that self-expansion (e.g., increasing positive self-content via engaging in novel, rewarding activities) is associated with smoking cessation and attenuated cigarette-cue reactivity.
This study examined whether self-expansion is associated with better adherence, weight loss, and physical activity (PA) outcomes within a weight loss intervention.
Participants from Shape Up Rhode Island 2012, a Web-based community wellness initiative, took part in a randomized controlled trial that involved a 12-week behavioral weight loss intervention . At baseline and post-intervention, objective weights and self-reported self-expansion and PA were obtained from 239 participants. Treatment adherence was assessed objectively.
Self-expansion during treatment was significantly associated with percent weight loss including clinically significant weight loss (i.e., 5 %), minutes of PA, and treatment adherence. These results held after controlling for relevant covariates.
This is the first study to show that self-expansion is associated with better behavioral weight loss outcomes including weight loss, adherence, and PA. These results suggest that self-expansion is a promising novel target for future research which could inform health interventions.