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Associations among problem-solving, adherence to diet and physical activity goals, and weight loss among individuals participating in weight loss study

Yu, Yang (2019) Associations among problem-solving, adherence to diet and physical activity goals, and weight loss among individuals participating in weight loss study. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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Background: Obesity is considered as a significant global public health problem, problem-solving plays an important role in chronic disease management but is not well understood in the management of weight loss.
Objective: In a 12-month behavioral weight loss intervention study, we examined whether problem-solving behaviors change over time and the relationships between problem-solving and changes in adherence to calorie, fat and physical activity goals and % weight change.
Methods: Measurements were conducted among 150 participants at baseline, 6 and 12 months. Adherence to the calorie/fat goals was calculated as the percentage of days that participants adhered to the daily goals during the 4-week blocks at the three time points. Adherence to the physical activity goals was assessed using accelerometer data and was calculated as (average step count per day/7,500). Linear mixed modeling was used to compare problem-solving across time points and to examine the relationship between problem-solving, changes in adherence to lifestyle goals and % weight change.
Results: The sample (N=150) was mostly female (90.7%) and white (80.7%) with a mean body mass index of 34.08 + 4.58 kg/m2. Problem-solving did not significantly change over 12 months (b = -0.305, p =0.79). With all potential predictors in the model, baseline problem-solving (b = -0.001, p =0.04) and changes in adherence to the fat goal (b = -0.123, p <0.01) and physical activity goal (b = -0.041, p <0.01) were significantly associated with % weight change.
Conclusion: Problem-solving did not change during the 12-month intervention, baseline problem-solving was correlated with % weight change over time. Future work is needed to examine the factors influencing problem-solving and examine problem-solving in larger, more diverse samples.
Public Health Significance: Our study implies that problem-solving was a potential predictor for weight loss outcome among individuals who were overweight or obese. Given the huge health and economic burden caused by obesity, it is important to verify the role of problem-solving in larger population and develop effective strategies to improve individuals’ problem-solving skills to tackle the obesity epidemic.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairFinegold, Daviddnf@pitt.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Committee Co-ChairBurke, Loralbu100@pitt.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberSereika, SMssereika@pitt.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date: 22 July 2019
Date Type: Submission
Submission Date: 22 July 2019
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 30
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Multidisciplinary MPH
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: obesity, problem-solving
Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2019 00:57
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2019 00:57


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