Psychological Implications of a Small Changes Approach to Weight Loss

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Marissa Errickson (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
Web Site:
Lesley D. Lutes

Abstract: While a small changes approach to weight management has shown promise in helping participants lose weight the psychological impact of this approach has yet to be determined. The present study examines changes in depression body satisfaction and life satisfaction of participants in two separate small changes studies (ASPIRE II and III). Overweight female adults participating in a 12-week treatment phase with 6-month follow-up completed the Beck Depression Inventory Multidimensional Body-Self Relations Questionnaire and the Satisfaction with Life Scale. A repeated measures analysis of variance with completers revealed significant improvements in depression in both ASPIRE II F(2 40) = 5.52 p = .008 [eta subscript]p[superscript]2 = 0.22; and ASPIRE III F(2 50) = 9.43 p < .001 [eta subscript]p[superscript]2 = 0.27; as well as body satisfaction in ASPIRE II F(2 40) = 3.78 p = .031 [eta subscript]p[superscript]2 = 0.16; and ASPIRE III F(2 50) = 9.92 p < .001 [eta subscript]p[superscript]2 = 0.28. Improvements in life satisfaction were limited to the initial treatment phase of ASPIRE II t(20) = 3.30 p = .004. Findings suggest that a small changes approach to weight management may be a viable option for promoting and maintaining significant weight loss as well as improvements in psychological function. Future research should focus on discovering the mechanisms of psychological improvement and confirming findings with longer studies which include direct comparison to other behavioral treatments for weight management. 

Additional Information

Date: 2011
Psychology, Behavioral, Psychology, Body Satisfaction, Depression, Life satisfaction, Obesity, Small Changes, Weight
Weight loss--Psychological aspects
Body image
Behavioral assessment
Depression in women

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