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Open Access Factors Related to Weight Gain/Loss among Emerging Adults with Obesity

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Objectives: We examined the reasons for weight gain and barriers to weight loss among emerging adults with obesity. Methods: Eighty-one female undergraduate students with obesity completed 4-open ended questions in 2015-2016. Qualitative responses were analyzed using NVivo 11 Pro software. Results: Most participants experienced weight gain prior to attending college. The most commonly reported reasons for weight gain include a lack of ability to control one's behaviors or overcome barriers (ie, poor eating habits, lack of physical activity, lack of time, easy access to food), emotional/mental health issues, physical health, and influence of significant others. Nearly half reported having a weight loss goal. Most reported having used one or more weight loss methods. Few reached short-term weight loss but quickly regained the lost weight. Major reported barriers reflect a lack of self-regulation skills, negative mood and stress, and lack of self-efficacy for healthy eating or physical activity. Conclusions: Results suggest that the perceived ability to control one's behaviors and overcome barriers, self-efficacy, and mood are important in weight-related behaviors, weight, and weight loss success among emerging adults, especially those enrolled in college.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Professor, Department of Health Promotion and Physical Education, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA;, Email: [email protected] 2: Professor, Department of Health Promotion and Physical Education, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA

Publication date: May 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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