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Long-term Weight Maintenance after Successful Weight Loss: Motivational Factors, Support, Difficulties, and Success Factors

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Objectives: The main aims of this study were to assess motivational factors for weight loss, and support and difficulties during the weight loss and weight maintenance phase. Methods : This study was based upon findings from the Finnish Weight Control Registry (FWCR), including 158 formerly obese persons, who lost at least 10% of their initial weight and maintained it for at least 2 years. Data have been collected through electronic forms. Results: The 2 most commonly reported motivational factors for weight loss were health- and appearance-related factors. Women reported dissatisfaction with their body more commonly than men (p = .023), whereas men reported health-related reasons (p = .008) more often. The majority (58%) reported losing weight alone, without any outside support, men more commonly than women (p = .006). Persons reported fewer difficulties during the maintenance than during the weight loss phase. Conclusions: Various motivational factors for losing weight may lead to successful weight loss and long-term weight maintenance. Marked sex differences were reported in relation to difficul- ties and need for support.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland 2: Endocrine Department, Helsinki University Hospitall (retired), Helsinki, Finland.

Publication date: January 1, 2018

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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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