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Warziski Turk, Melanie (2008) WEIGHT MAINTENANCE FOLLOWING THE COMPLETION OF A WEIGHT LOSS TRIAL: EXPLORING RACIAL DIFFERENCES. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Overweight and obesity are widespread, global health problems due in part to the relapse and weight gain that often follows weight loss treatment. Moreover, racial minorities are disproportionately affected by this chronic disorder. Empirical evidence is needed to better address the problem of poor weight maintenance after loss. This ancillary, prospective study examined weight maintenance 18 months after a behavioral weight loss trial and explored possible differences between black and white participants in percent weight change and successful weight maintenance. The relationships of psychosocial variables - experiences following a low-fat diet, barriers to healthy eating, self-efficacy for resisting eating and for exercising, social support, and stress - with weight maintenance were investigated as well as whether race moderated these relationships. Additionally, the study examined the behavioral strategies used for weight maintenance and explored dietary intake and physical activity as potential mediators of the relationship between psychosocial variables and weight maintenance. Hierarchical linear and logistic regression models were used to examine the effect of race, as well as the effect of psychosocial variables, on percent weight change and successful weight maintenance (defined as ≤ 5% weight regain), after controlling for age, gender, education, income, and marital status. Descriptive statistics and group comparative statistics (t-tests or Mann Whitney U tests) were used to examine behavioral strategies utilized for weight maintenance. Path analysis investigated possible mediation effects of lifestyle variables on percent weight change. Fifty-seven percent of the 107 participants (58% of the 81 white participants and 54% of the 26 black participants) were successful weight maintainers. No difference was found in weight maintenance between racial groups; black and white individuals gained a similar amount of weight (M = 5.0%, SD = 6.6% and M = 4.4%, SD = 5.6%, respectively). An increase in barriers to healthy eating and the impact of a stressful life event on eating affected the percent weight gained and unsuccessful weight maintenance, ps < .04. Most behavioral strategies for weight maintenance were used less than half the time. Dietary intake and physical activity did not mediate the relationship between the examined psychosocial variables and weight maintenance.A difference in weight maintenance between black and white individuals was not supported by this study. Future research should further explore the weight control barriers that individuals experience and the impact of stress on weight maintenance.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Warziski Turk, Melaniemtw8@pitt.eduMTW8
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBurke, Lora Elbu100@pitt.eduLBU100
Committee MemberYang, Kyeongrayangk@pitt.eduYANGK
Committee MemberEwing, Linda
Committee MemberHravnak, Marilynmhra@pitt.eduMHRA
Committee MemberSereika, Susan Mssereika@pitt.eduSSEREIKA
Date: 9 August 2008
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 10 July 2008
Approval Date: 9 August 2008
Submission Date: 7 August 2008
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Nursing > Nursing
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: minorities; obesity; overweight; racial differences; weight loss; weight loss maintenance
Other ID:, etd-08072008-110713
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:58
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:48


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