Weight Loss Readiness in Middle-Aged Women: Psychosocial Predictors of Success for Behavioral Weight Reduction

Pedro Teixeira, Scott B. Going, Linda B. Houtkooper, Ellen C. Cussler, Catherine J. Martin, Lauve L. Metcalfe, Nuris R. Finkenthal, Rob M. Blew, Luis B. Sardinha, Timothy G. Lohman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations


Accurate prediction of weight loss success and failure has eluded researchers for many years. Thus, we administered a comprehensive psychometric battery before a 4-month lifestyle behavioral weight reduction program and analyzed weight changes during that period to identify baseline characteristics of successful and unsuccessful participants, among 112 overweight and obese middle-aged women (age, 47.8 ± 4.4 years; BMI, 31.4 ± 3.9 kg/m2). Mean weight and percentage fat losses among the 89 completers were -5.4 kg and -3.4%, respectively (p < .001). A higher number of recent dieting attempts and recent weight loss, more stringent weight outcome evaluations, a higher perceived negative impact of weight on quality of life, lower self-motivation, higher body size dissatisfaction, and lower self-esteem were associated with less weight loss and significantly distinguished responders from nonresponders among all participants. These findings are discussed as to their usefulness (i) to screen individuals before treatment, (ii) to provide a better match between interventions to participants, and (iii) to build a weight loss readiness questionnaire.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)499-523
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2002


  • Overweight women
  • Psychosocial predictors
  • Readiness
  • Weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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