Patterns of weight control strategies predict differences in women's 4-year weight gain

Jennifer S. Savage, Leann L. Birch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to explore whether differences in patterns of weight control strategies predict 4-year weight change among women. Participants (N = 176), were assessed at baseline and biennially on three occasions. Weight control strategies were assessed by the Weight Loss Behavior Scale. Height and weight were measured to calculate BMI. Latent class analysis (LCA) identified groups of women differing in their reported weight control strategies. Repeated measures were employed to examine the relationship between using different types of weight control strategies and weight change before and after adjusting for education, income, and initial BMI. LCA yielded a three-group solution: use of none (N), healthy (H), and healthy plus unhealthy (HU) weight control strategies. The N group had the lowest initial BMIs. Women's pattern of weight gain differed by latent group membership after adjusting for covariates: HU group gained significantly more weight (4.56kg) than the N group (1.51kg) and H group (1.02kg). Similar patterns emerged predicting weight change between years 2 and 4: HU group gained significantly more weight (2.86kg) than the H group (0.03kg) and N group (0.44kg). HU weight control group had higher scores on weight concerns, dietary restraint, and eating attitudes than women in the H or N groups. These findings provide evidence that self-reported weight control attempts do not necessarily lead to large weight gains; rather the amount of weight gain may depend on the type of weight control strategies that women are practicing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)513-520
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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