A structured intentions and action-planning intervention improves weight loss outcomes in a group weight loss program

Yael Benyamini, Rivki Geron, David M. Steinberg, Nurit Medini, Liora Valinsky, Ronit Endevelt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose. To assess whether forming general behavioral intentions and implementing intentions through action plans promotes weight loss and is moderated by weight loss goals and self-efficacy. Design. A quasi-experimental study comparing change in body mass index (BMI) for 15 months between a behavioral intentions condition (BIC), an implementation intentions condition (IIC), and a comparison condition (CC). Setting. Ten-week weight loss program delivered in weekly group meetings at community medical centers. Subjects. Six hundred thirty-two attendants at the weight loss program (80% of program attendants participated in the study). Intervention. Weight loss program focused on lifestyle changes, augmented by two experimental conditions (vs. a comparison condition): BIC, intended use of weight loss techniques; IIC, intended use and detailed plans for two techniques. Phone follow-up was conducted 3 and 12 months later. Measures. Main outcome: BMI during the program (computed on the basis of weight and height measured on a mechanicalmedical scale). Experimental manipulations included exposure to list of techniques (BIC/IIC) and structured planning form (IIC); independent variables were assessed with questionnaires (eating selfefficacy, weight loss goal, demographics). Analysis. Linear mixed models estimating changes in BMI and their interactions with the planning interventions, goals, and self-efficacy. Results. Participants in the BIC and IIC lost 40%more weight during the 10-week program than those in the CC(1.10 and 1.11 BMI points compared with .79; ts,<-2.76, ps<.01). Weight loss goals interacted with implementation intentions (t = 2.98, p < .01). Self-efficacy was unrelated to weight loss. No differences were found between conditions at 3 and 12 months after the program. Conclusion. Findings revealed that forming implementation intentions promotes weight loss within a weekly program at a field setting and that its effectiveness depends on initial high goals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-127
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Promotion
Volume28
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

Keywords

  • Action plan
  • Diet
  • Health focus: Weight control
  • Implementation intentions
  • Intervention study
  • Manuscript format: Research
  • Outcome measure: Biometric
  • Physical activity
  • Prevention research
  • Research purpose: Intervention testing
  • Self-efficacy
  • Setting: Health care/local community
  • Strategy: Skill building/behavior change
  • Study design: Quasi-experimental
  • Target population age: Adults
  • Target population circumstances: Geographic location
  • Weight loss

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