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Discrepancy in Motivation for Weight Loss and Exercise in Rural Patients

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Objectives: We explored the extent to which discrepancy between motivation for weight loss and exercise is related to obesity among rural patients with chronic disease, and identified the psychosocial correlates of this discrepancy. Methods: 497 patients with diabetes and/or hypertension were recruited from a network of Federally Qualified Health Centers in the rural South and completed a battery of assessments. Results: Most persons in the sample (83.1%) were overweight and 65.0% were obese. For motivation for change, 70.8% reported being in the Action stage or higher for weight loss, whereas only 24.9% reported being in the Action stage or higher for motivation for exercise. When controlling for age, education level, income, sex, and race/ethnicity, individuals who were motivated for weight loss but not exercise were twice as likely to be obese (p = .005). Race and sex were significantly associated with this discrepancy, with African-American patients 1.7 times as likely (p = .05) and women 2.3 times as likely to be discrepant (p = .001). Conclusions: Findings underscore the importance of focusing not simply on weight loss among rural patients with chronic disease, but rather to incorporate specific activities designed to build simultaneous motivation for engaging in exercise.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Director, Center for Rural Health and Health Disparities, Mercer University School of Medicine, Macon, GA;, Email: [email protected] 2: Executive Director, Rural Health Research Institute, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA 3: Assistant Director, Rural Health Research Institute, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA

Publication date: November 1, 2017

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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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