History of Intentional and Unintentional Weight Loss in a Population‐Based Sample of Women Aged 55 to 69 Years

S. A. French, R. W. Jeffery, A. R. Folsom, D. F. Williamson, T. Byers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

FRENCH, SIMONE A, ROBERT W JEFFERY, AARON R FOLSOM, DAVID F WILLIAMSON AND TIM BYERS. History of intentional and unintentional weight loss in a population‐based sample of women aged 55 to 69 years. Obes Res. 1995;3:163–170. Although both overweight and body weight fluctuation are related to chronic disease risk, little is known about the history of and reasons for body weight change in the general population. This paper reports the incidence of intentional and unintentional weight loss episodes during adulthood in a population‐based sample of 26, 261 women aged 55 to 69 years. Intentional weight loss episodes of each of four amounts (5–9, 10–19, 20–49, 50+ lbs.) and unintentional weight loss episodes of 20 or more lbs. were recalled for each of three age periods (18–39, 40–54, 55+ years). At least one intentional weight loss episode of 5 or more lbs. was reported by 69% of women, 46% reported at least one intentional weight loss episode of 10 or more lbs, and 25% reported at least one intentional weight loss episode 20 or more lbs. At least one unintentional weight loss episode of 20 or more lbs. was reported by 29% of the women. Reasons for weight losses of 20 or more lbs. were also recalled. Women who had intentionally lost 20 or more lbs. were more likely to report weight losses due to low‐calorie diets, exercise and weight loss groups, while women who had unintentionally lost 20 or more lbs. were more likely to report weight losses due to depression or stress. These findings question the common assumption that weight losses in adult women are primarily intentional and emphasize the need to distinguish the reasons for weight loss in studies examining the relationship between body weight changes and health outcomes. 1995 North American Association for the Study of Obesity (NAASO)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-170
Number of pages8
JournalObesity research
Volume3
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1995

Keywords

  • dieting
  • obesity
  • weight loss
  • weight variability

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