Instrumentalization of eating improves weight loss maintenance in obesity

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Aim: The purpose of this study was to identify psychosocial determinants for maintaining weight loss. Methods: 42 obese individuals who achieved a 12% weight loss before entering a 52-week weight maintenance program were interviewed qualitatively. Psychosocial factors related to weight loss maintenance were identified in two contrasting groups: weight reducers and weight regainers. Groups were defined by health-relevant weight maintenance (additional weight loss > 3% at week 52, n = 9 versus weight gain > 3%, at week 52, n = 20). Results: Weight reducers reported structured meal patterns (p = 0.008), no comfort eating (p = 0.016) and less psychosocial stress (p = 0.04) compared to weight regainers. The ability to instrumentalize eating behavior emerged as an important factor (p = 0.007). Nutritional knowledge, motivation or exercise level did not differ between groups (p > 0.05). Conclusions: Successful weight loss maintenance was associated with an interplay between behavioral, affective and contextual changes. ‘Instrumentalization of eating behavior' seems to be an important element in long-term weight maintenance.

Original languageEnglish
JournalObesity Facts
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)633-647
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Research areas

  • Body weight maintenance, Interviews, Obesity, Psychosocial aspects, Qualitative research, Quantification

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ID: 187260602