Objective: To examine perceptions of success in weight control and future weight-control intentions in a community sample. Design: Cross-sectional postal survey. Subjects: There were 1500 adults randomly selected from the Electoral Roll of Victoria (47% response). Setting: Community. Main outcome measures: Retrospective weight change over previous 12 months; perceived weight-control success; future weight-control intentions. Statistical analyses: Pearson's χ² tests were used to compare perceived weight-control success by sex, and by age, education level, initial BMI, amount of weight change and weight-loss behaviour within sex. ANOVA was used to compare mean weight change associated with perceived weight control success within sex, and within age, education, body mass index and weight-loss behaviour by sex. The distribution (frequency) of weight-control intentions are reported within perceived weight-control success and amount of weight change. Results: One in two (53%) reported maintaining their weight within 1kg in the preceding 12 months, 26% of men and 21% of women reported weight gain and 20% of men and 26% of women reported weight loss. Almost one-third (30%) of those who maintained their weight considered themselves unsuccessful. A majority of those who lost weight considered themselves successful at controlling their weight. However, more than 45% of men who gained weight also considered themselves successful. Those who considered themselves unsuccessful experienced less weight loss (1.1 ± 3.9kg) than those who considered themselves quite successful (-1.4 ± 4.5 kg, P < 0.001) or very successful (-1.3 ± 7.8 kg, P < 0.001). Conclusion: Public views of what constitutes successful weight control may need to be reoriented to be consistent with public health goals.
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Field of Research
111199 Nutrition and Dietetics not elsewhere classified
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