Healthy weight control behaviours
Healthy weight control behaviours include reducing the consumption of high-fat food and increasing the intake of fruits and vegetables. These behaviours are intended to help prevent health problems and achieve an ideal body image. It is important to understand the relationship between these behaviours and personal factors, such as motivation, which can affect health-related practices. Using an interdisciplinary approach is recommended to promote lifestyle changes.
In the present study, a cross-sectional, non-experimental design was used to examine the correlations between unhealthy and healthy weight control behaviours among adolescents. A sample of 8th and 10th grade public school Portuguese students was evaluated. The study aimed to understand the psychological antecedents of healthy and unhealthy weight control. To do so, the following research objectives were outlined:
Identifying the personality patterns of participants was considered a key element to understanding the personal factors that lead to weight control. Amotivation, autonomous motivation, and self-control were all tested as mediators of the relationship between Grit and healthy and unhealthy weight control. Results indicated that Grit positively mediated the relationship between autonomous motivation and healthy weight control and negatively mediated the relationship between autonomous motivation and unhealthy weight control. However, the relationship between amotivation and healthy weight control was not moderated by self-control.
Gender was associated with both types of behaviours. More females than males reported being overweight. Females also reported that they tried to control their weight. African Americans had the lowest percentage of people who reported being controlled. Statistically, all relationships were significant.
The relationship between amotivation and healthy weight-control behaviours was weak when it was -1 sd. On the other hand, amotivation was not significantly related to unhealthy weight-control behaviours when it was +1 sd. This result indicates that the CIE on unhealthy weight-control behaviours was significantly negative when it was low. Similarly, the relationship between Grit and healthy weight-control behaviours was weak and moderated by self-control when it was low. Similarly, the CIE on unhealthy weight-control behaviours correlated with amotivation when it was low.
Several studies have shown that gender is associated with weight control. In addition, the BMI is also an indicator of weight control. Interestingly, the average BMI percentile was higher in males than in females. While both ethnicities were involved in weight control, the differences between the groups were not statistically significant. Interestingly, the majority of individuals in the overweight/obese BMI category were African American. Further, it was found that the average BMI percentile was lower in African Americans than in other ethnicities.
This study provides evidence that healthy weight control programmes can be implemented in school settings. The results from the intervention showed a significant decrease in waist circumference and skeletal muscle mass. Moreover, participants also reported a decreased level of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and a greater degree of adherence to a diet diary. Ultimately, this study suggests that school nurses can play a role in promoting healthy weight control. They can also educate and provide advice to adolescents on how to practice these behaviours.
Health professionals can use personality analysis to better plan weight control interventions. They will identify the elements that are most important to their clients. By focusing on the most important goal for each client, psychologists can work more effectively to change unhealthy weight-control behaviours.