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Minerva Psichiatrica 2018 March;59(1):1-9

DOI: 10.23736/S0391-1772.17.01951-3


language: English

Moderation of psychological factors in the relationship of increased fruit and vegetable intake with reductions in other food groups and weight in obese women

James J. ANNESI 1, 2

1 YMCA of Metro Atlanta, Atlanta, GA, USA; 2 Department of Health Promotion and Physical Education, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA, USA


BACKGROUND: Although attempts to increase fruit and vegetable consumption are common within behavioral weight-loss treatments, corresponding effects on other aspects of the diet and weight loss remain unclear. This study aimed to investigate these effects, along with assessing moderating impacts of changes in theory-based psychological factors associated with a cognitive-behavioral treatment.
METHODS: Women with obesity (N.=67; mean age 48 years) volunteered to participate in a year-long, group-based, weight-loss treatment that emphasized building self-efficacy for attaining and maintaining dietary changes.
RESULTS: Both from baseline to month 6 and from baseline to month 12, increased intake of fruits and vegetables predicted a mean reduction in weight of 6.1 kg (-6.4% of initial weight) and 5.4 kg (-5.8% of initial weight), respectively. Mediation of these relationships by changes in the consumption of meats/proteins, breads/grains, dairy products, and sweets was significant, with change in the intake of sweets being a significant independent mediator. Over 6 months, increase in self-efficacy for healthy eating significantly moderated the effects of fruit/vegetable intake on changes in the consumption of sweets. Over 12 months, reduction in emotion-based eating was a significant moderator of that relationship.
CONCLUSIONS: Findings that the positive impact of increased fruit and vegetable intake on weight occurred through effects on the consumption of other food groups have important implications for future treatment foci. Additionally, the moderating effects of treatment-associated changes in self-efficacy for healthy eating and emotion-based eating on that relationship further defined priorities for architectures of improved behavioral weight-loss interventions.

KEY WORDS: Self-efficacy - Emotional eating - Nutrition - Obesity

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