Taking action to lose weight: Toward an understanding of individual differences

Rachel A. Annunziato, Michael R. Lowe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The purpose of the present study was to understand differences in obese/overweight individuals who do and do not seek ongoing external assistance for weight loss. Help-seeking was examined as a dichotomous and as a continuous variable. Measures of body mass index, comorbid medical conditions, socioeconomic status, psychological distress, disordered eating behavior, body image, and obesity-related knowledge were administered to a community sample of 120 overweight women (age: 22-65 y, BMI: 25-63 kg/m2). Fewer predictors of help-seeking were identified when measuring help-seeking as a dichotomy than when measuring it as a continuum. All predictors were from psychosocial domains, with obesity-related knowledge being the strongest, most consistent predictor. Help-seeking for weight control in a community sample of overweight and obese individuals appears to be motivated by psychological aspects of obesity, rather than obesity's physical or medical burden.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-194
Number of pages10
JournalEating Behaviors
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2007


  • Dieting
  • Help-seeking
  • Obesity
  • Predictors
  • Treatment-seeking


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