What young Dutch adults say they do to keep from gaining weight: Self-reported prevalence of overeating, compensatory behaviours and specific weight control behaviours

B. Wammes, S. French, J. Brug

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: The aim of this study was to explore the prevalence of and differences in self-reported occasions of overeating (such as at celebrations and other parties), compensatory behaviours and specific weight gain prevention strategies among young Dutch adults according to sociodemographics and overweight status. Design and subjects: Cross-sectional data were analysed from Dutch adults aged 20-40 years, recruited from an Internet research panel (n = 857, response rate = 76.6%). Using electronic questionnaires, self-report data were collected on sociodemographics, body mass index (BMI), occasions of overeating, compensatory behaviours, and diet and physical activity used as weight gain prevention strategies. Associations were tested using multiple linear and logistic regression analyses. Results: Of the participants, 48.6% reported occasions of overeating at least once a week during the 4-week period, 44.6% reported compensating for these occasions and 72.9% reported engaging in dietary and physical activities specifically for weight gain prevention purposes. Only 32.1% of the respondents reported using the recommended combination of diet and physical activity as a weight gain prevention strategy. In addition, results showed that overweight people (BMI ≥ 25 kg m -2) and women were more likely to report overeating than people with healthy body weights (odds ratio (OR) = 1.79; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.32-2.42) and men (OR = 1.50; 95% CI 1.14-1.97). Overweight people, women and people who regularly reported overeating were also significantly more likely to report compensatory behaviours by eating less and to report specific weight gain prevention strategies using diet and physical activity. Conclusion: The present study suggests that people experience frequent occasions of overeating and try to compensate for such occasions in different ways. However, the combination of dietary changes and physical activity recommended by experts was seldom reported.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)790-798
Number of pages9
JournalPublic health nutrition
Volume10
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2007

Keywords

  • Compensatory behaviours
  • Overeating
  • Weight gain prevention strategies

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