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Body Image and Weight Loss Maintenance in Elderly African American Hypertensives

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Objective: To examine body image and its influence on elderly African American men and women trying to lose weight to reduce hypertension. Methods: Individuals (n=68) were randomly assigned to participate in a 15-month weight loss program or to control conditions. Weight was determined at baseline, at 6 months and at 15 months. Results: Although mean BMI was 30.4, little body image dissatisfaction was endorsed. Treatment group accounted for significant weight loss variance at both follow-up periods whereas body image scores predicted long-term (15-month) weight loss. Conclusion: Body image may play an important role in long-term success with behavioral weight loss interventions.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. 2: Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology, Baltimore, MD. 3: Loyola University of Maryland, Department of Psychology, Baltimore, MD.

Publication date: May 1, 2000

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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