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, 13 (1), 38-47

A Prospective Study of Predictors of Successful Weight Maintenance by Women Enrolled in Community-Based Weight-Loss Programs

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A Prospective Study of Predictors of Successful Weight Maintenance by Women Enrolled in Community-Based Weight-Loss Programs

A S Collings et al. Eat Weight Disord.

Abstract

Objective: Research is limited on the psychological predictors of successful long-term weight maintenance after weight loss. Therefore, the present study examined the individual contributions of body image, depression, and self-esteem to successful weight maintenance after a significant weight loss.

Method: Measures of depression, self-esteem, and body image were administered at baseline, three-, and twelve-months to 73 women enrolled in community- based weight loss programs.

Results: Significant predictors of weight maintenance included baseline self-classified weight, early (3 months) weight maintenance, later (12 months) change in perceptual body image, and the interaction between early and late change in body image avoidance. Classifying oneself as more overweight at baseline predicted less weight maintenance, while later discrepancies between current and realistic body size were positively associated with weight maintenance. Those who showed steady improvements in body image avoidance behavior were more likely to maintain weight loss. Baseline BMI, self-esteem, and depression did not predict 12-month weight maintenance.

Discussion: Further understanding how body image and related factors contribute to weight maintenance may inform development of more effective interventions to promote long-term weight maintenance.

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