Health Promotion & Physical Education
Exercise is a robust predictor of long-term success with weight loss, and research based on social cognitive theory suggests that exercise program-induced changes in self-regulation, mood, and self-efficacy transfer to improved eating. These relationships were tested in adults with morbid obesity (overall Mage = 43 years; 86% female; Mbody mass index= 45 kg/m2) participating in a 6-month treatment of cognitive-behaviorally supported exercise paired with either standard nutrition education (n = 87) or cognitive-behavioral methods for controlled eating (n = 89). Based on multiple mediation analyses, improvements in self-regulation and self-efficacy were significantly associated with increased fruit and vegetable intake and reduced body mass index (BMI). The cognitive-behavioral nutrition methods were associated with greater improvements in fruit and vegetable intake and BMI, however, within both models, complete mediation was found after simultaneous entry of changes in self-regulation, mood, and self-efficacy, and exercise volume as mediators. Only the indirect effect of change in self-regulation was a significant (or marginally significant) independent mediator. Generalization of previously identified relationships between exercise program-induced improvements in psychosocial variables and improvements in nutrition and BMI were supported for individuals with morbid obesity. Based on these relationships, implications for behavioral treatments were discussed.
International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Annesi, J.J. & Tennant, G.A. (2014). Generalization of theory-based predictions for improved nutrition and weight loss to adults with morbid obesity: Implications of initiating exercise. International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology, 14, 1-8. doi:10.1016/S1697-2600(14)70031-6