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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/378

Title: Taking action to lose weight: toward an understanding of individual differences
Authors: Annunziato, Rachel A.
Keywords: Psychology;Obesity;Weight Loss
Issue Date: 5-Jan-2005
Abstract: The problem of obesity has reached epidemic proportions. Currently, roughly two-thirds of all adult Americans are overweight or obese. Of these, 40% are not engaging in weight control. Little is known about these individuals except that they are at high-risk for a variety of medical comorbidities. A greater understanding of these persons is imperative for ultimately encouraging their initiation of weight control practices. Among those who are addressing their obesity, the prominent strategy employed is dieting on one’s own. Previous research has studied overweight people who seek help with weight control versus those who do not. Help-seeking has been associated with higher levels of psychological distress and more severe obesity. This classification however neglects individuals attempting other weight control methods besides seeking outside assistance. The present study proposes a two-dimensional system for understanding varying levels of weight control behavior. A help-seeking dimension is proposed that capres a gradation of help-seeking behaviors. The second dimension aims at classifying individuals on a self-agency dimension. This dimension explores how individuals’ perception of themselves as agents of change influences their weight control. Socioeconomic status (SES) is hypothesized as a potential moderator of both dimensions. The present study aims to demonstrate possible correlates of both dimensions, including psychological distress, disordered eating behavior, obesity-related knowledge, body-image, and comorbid medical risks. By uncovering differences in these variables across the two dimensions, our understanding of what factors contribute to engagement in varying levels of weight control behaviors will be augmented.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/378
Appears in Collections:Drexel Theses and Dissertations

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