The effects of outcome expectations and satisfaction on weight loss and maintenance: correlational and experimental analyses--a randomized trial

Health Psychol. 2005 Nov;24(6):608-16. doi: 10.1037/0278-6133.24.6.608.


This study examines the hypothesis that highly favorable outcome expectations promote weight loss and hinder weight maintenance. To investigate the effects of outcome expectations and satisfaction with treatment outcomes on weight loss, 349 adults were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 weight loss programs that emphasize either (a) an "optimistic" message, focusing exclusively on the positive aspects of weight loss, or (b) a "balanced" message, giving equal time to positive and negative aspects of weight loss. Participants changed their weight loss cognitions in response to the intervention, but there was no significant difference between the intervention treatment groups in short-term or long-term (18-month) weight loss. Independent of treatment message, positive outcome expectations and satisfaction were both associated with weight loss.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Weight Loss*