Exploring gender differences in a randomized trial of weight loss maintenance
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The purpose of this study is to explore gender differences in reasons for losing weight, weight loss methods, and weight loss behaviors prior to and during a weight loss maintenance trial. This is a secondary analysis of data from a 24-month randomized controlled trial comparing Self-Directed or Guided phone-based weight loss maintenance interventions among adults who had intentionally lost >/=10% of their body weight in the year prior to enrollment. Participants reported their weight loss methods and reasons for recently losing weight at baseline. Dietary intake, physical activity, and dietary patterns were assessed at baseline, 12, and 24 months. Participants included 419 adults (18.4% men, age 47.0 +/- 10.8, BMI 28.4 +/- 5.0). Women were more likely than men to report having used an organized weight loss program during their weight loss (55.9% vs. 24.7%, p < .001) and to report improving personal esteem as a motivator (51.2% vs. 35.1%, p = .01). Men were more likely than women to report eating food from convenience stores at baseline (22.1% vs. 13.2%, p = .05) and throughout the study but otherwise reported similar meal patterns ( ps > .05). Men reported higher energy intake than women while physical activity was similar. Although more men self-directed their initial weight loss and more women utilized organized weight loss programs, behaviors reported during weight loss maintenance were similar. Futures studies are needed to understand if these results generalize to other men who have successfully lost weight and are participants in other weight loss maintenance interventions.
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