Self-reported dieting experiences of women with body mass indexes of 30 or more

J Am Diet Assoc. 2004 Jun;104(6):972-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2004.03.026.


Self-reported information on dieting experiences of 149 women with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 to 70 was gathered to refute the notion that obese women have made few serious attempts to lose weight and to see whether women with higher BMIs report more frequent dieting than women with lower BMIs. Participants completed questionnaires about lifetime dieting experiences and provided demographic information, including heights and weights. Statistical comparisons among categorical variables were made using chi(2) tests. Women with higher BMIs tended to start dieting before age 14 (P<.001) and had dieted more frequently (P<.01) than women with lower BMIs. Negative memories of dieting far outnumbered positive or neutral ones. When a patient has a history of dieting failure, dietetics professionals should consider focusing on improvements in metabolic fitness through lifestyle changes for chronic disease risk reduction rather than encouraging continued attempts to lose weight.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Amphetamines / administration & dosage
  • Appetite Depressants / administration & dosage
  • Body Mass Index
  • Diet, Reducing* / psychology
  • Diet, Reducing* / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / diet therapy*
  • Obesity / drug therapy
  • Obesity / psychology
  • Self Disclosure
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Weight Loss


  • Amphetamines
  • Appetite Depressants