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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Roach, J
item Yadrick, M
item Johnson, J
item Boudreaux, L
item Forsythe Iii, W
item Billon, W

Submitted to: Journal Of The American Dietetic Association
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2003
Publication Date: 10/1/2003
Citation: Roach, J.B., Yadrick, M.K., Johnson, J.T., Boudreaux, L.J., Forsythe III, W.A., Billon, W. 2003. Using self-efficacy to predict weight loss among young adults. Journal American Dietetic Association. 103(10):1357-1359.

Interpretive Summary: Obesity is now viewed as a major public health problem in the U.S., and researchers have noted the need to target young adults for obesity prevention efforts. The majority of young adults (18-29 years) report they are attempting to either lose or maintain their weight, but with little success as evidenced by increasing obesity rates. Experts have called for a weight management approach to obesity treatment that includes a behavioral-psychological component. Purpose of the current research was to implement a weight loss program for young adults that focused on improvement of self-efficacy for weight loss while promoting healthy eating behaviors, and to compare its effectiveness with a more traditional approach to weight loss. Results of this study, involving college-age females, support the conclusion that increased self-efficacy is related to better weight loss outcomes. Therefore, the promotion of self-efficacy in weight management can be effective in producing desirable outcomes, particularly among the young adult population. Dietitians and other healthcare professionals should consider this behavioral construct as a tool for promoting desired behavior change.

Technical Abstract: Many healthcare professionals support the idea that weight control and healthy eating should be emphasized early in a person's life to prevent obesity during middle and older adulthood. Unfortunately, although many weight loss programs are available to consumers, few are successful. Recently, constructs of behavioral theories have been integrated into weight loss programs and used to promote changes in health behaviors. In this study, methods used to increase self-efficacy for weight loss were incorporated into a 12-week program designed for weight loss promotion in young adults. Results found that as self-efficacy improved, eating habits improved and weight loss was greater. This study supports the hypothesis that using behavior techniques to improve self-efficacy can be effective in weight loss promotion and can produce positive outcomes.

Last Modified: 06/22/2017
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