Improved psychological well-being, quality of life, and health practices in moderately overweight women participating in a 12-week structured weight loss program
Rippe, J.M.; Price, J.M.; Hess, S.A.; Kline, G.; DeMers, K.A.; Damitz, S.; Kreidieh, I.; Freedson, P.
Obesity Research 6(3): 208-218
To study the effects of a 12-week weight loss strategy involving increased physical activity, self-selected hypocaloric diet, and group support on psychological well-being, quality of life, and health practices in moderately obese women. Eighty women aged 20-49 years weighing between 20-50% above 1983 Metropolitan Life Insurance Tables were randomly assigned to a weight loss intervention (6279 kJ/week of physical activity, 33,258-41,462 kJ/week diet and weekly meetings) or served as controls. Subjects were tested pre and post 12-weeks. The intervention group lost significant (p<0.001) body weight (kg) and body fat (%) compared to controls (-6.07+/-4.01 kg vs. 1.31+/-1.28 kg; 36.8%-32.5% vs. 36.2%-36.0%). Intervention subjects vs. controls achieved significant improvements (p<0.001) in body cathexis (X Change 18.6+/-16.7 vs. 0.7+/-8.6) and estimation of ability to achieve physical fitness (X Change 8.1+/-7.1 vs. 0.9+/-5.9). Various quality of life indices also improved (p<0.01) in the intervention group compared to controls (physical function: X Change 13.5.2+/-16.7 vs. 1.4+/-9.5; vitality: X change 21.7+/-17.9 vs. 2.9+/-20.8; mental health: X change 10.4+/-16.0 vs. 2.3+/-10.1). Similarly, physical activity levels also improved significantly (p<0.0001) in the intervention group (4.4+/-2.3 vs. 0.6+/-1.3; on NASA 0-7 scale). Practical weight loss practices such as increased activity, self-selected hypocaloric diet, and group support are effective for weight loss and yield significant health and psychological benefits in moderately obese females.