Those who think that weight is not in their control have less healthy BMIs, make poorer food choices and report lower levels of personal wellbeing than those who don't, reveals a new study.
Author Mike C. Parent said that if an individual believes his or her weight to be outside of the influence of diet and exercise, he or she might engage in more behaviors that were rewarding in the short term such as eating unhealthful foods and avoiding exercise rather than healthful behaviors with more long-term benefits for weight management.
Parent said by fighting the perception that weight was unchangeable, health care providers might be able to increase healthful behaviors among their patients. In the study, the authors analyzed data from both medical and self-reported health measurements of 4,166 men and 4,655 women and found that as people get older, the belief that weight is unchangeable and determined by DNA is associated with less healthy eating behavior.
They also found the belief that weight was unchangeable is associated with less exercise, eating more frozen meals, restaurant meals and ready-to-eat foods. Parent found evidence that the relationship between belief in weight changeability and exercise, healthful eating and unhealthful eating differs by age. The study is published in the Journal Health Education and Behavior