Background: Weight gain prevention (WGP) among adults who are overweight is an important target in the prevention of obesity. However, little is known about the process from WGP as a goal to successful weight-management. The present study aimed to: (i) gain more insight into this process; (ii) identify cognitive predictors of intention for WGP; and (iii) examine WGP as a potential predictor for the intention to change weight-related behaviours [dietary intake (DI) and physical activity (PA)] and specific action planning. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, overweight adults [n=510; body mass index 25-30kgm -2; mean (SD) age 48(9.5)years; 30.8% male] completed an online questionnaire, assessing goal intention for WGP, behavioural intention for DI and PA, planning for change in DI and PA and socio-cognitive correlates. Ordinal regression analyses were used to analyse the data. Results: In 89% of the sample, (parts of) the proposed sequence from goal intention (for WGP), behavioural intention (for DI/PA) and planning (for DI/PA) was observed. Attitude, social norm and perceived control towards WGP, and perceived weight status and risk perception, were associated with intention for WGP. Behaviour-specific perceived control and preferences were more strongly associated with intention to change DI or PA and planning for change than intention for WGP was. Conclusions: Intention for WGP is important in the process toward weight-management because, for most people, intention for WGP precedes behavioural intention, which precedes planning. Intention for WGP is associated with behavioural intention but behaviour-specific factors are the strongest correlates of behavioural intention and planning.

, , , ,,
Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van Genugten, L., van Empelen, P., & Oenema, A. (2012). From weight management goals to action planning: Identification of a logical sequence from goals to actions and underlying determinants. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, 25(4), 354–364. doi:10.1111/j.1365-277X.2012.01241.x