Submitted to: Journal of Pediatric Psychology
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/14/2007
Publication Date: 7/1/2008
Citation: Dalton, W.T., Johnston, C.A., Foreyt, J.P., Tyler, C. 2008. Brief report: Weight dissatisfaction, weight status, and weight loss in Mexican-American children. Journal of Pediatric Psychology. 33(6):673-677. Interpretive Summary: The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between weight dissatisfaction, weight status, and weight loss in Mexican-American children enrolled in an intensive weight management intervention. Results indicate that overweight children had greater weight dissatisfaction than those of normal weight. Also, children with greater weight dissatisfaction were not as successful at losing weight. Despite overall reductions in weight, weight dissatisfaction appears to have remained stable over the course of the intervention. The findings of this study provide preliminary evidence of the potential negative impact weight dissatisfaction may have on intervention efforts. It is possible that weight loss programs may benefit from finding ways to specifically address weight dissatisfaction during the course of treatment.
Technical Abstract: The study objectives were to assess the association between weight dissatisfaction, weight status, and weight loss in Mexican-American children participating in a weight management program. Participants included 265 Mexican American children recruited for a school-based weight management program. All children completed baseline assessments, and changes in standardized body mass index (zBMI) were monitored in at-risk for overweight and overweight children (i.e., > 85th BMI percentile) who had been randomized to receive the weight loss intervention (n = 101). Participants classified as at-risk for overweight or overweight reported greater weight dissatisfaction than normal weight children. Lower weight dissatisfaction at baseline was associated with greater changes in zBMI at 6 months. Weight dissatisfaction did not change across the course of treatment. Mexican-American children whose weight status is greater than normal have greater weight dissatisfaction. Children with greater weight dissatisfaction are less likely to lose weight in a weight management program, and weight dissatisfaction remains stable over the course of treatment.