Self-Efficacy in Weight Loss

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fJonathan Agudelo
Health and Fitness for Life
Research Paper
Due: 4/17/2013
Self-Efficacy in Weight Loss
Ever watched a commercial on television about some new pill to help you quickly lose weight? Or some new powder or drink mixture that is sure to shed pounds off you in weeks? It’s simple advertising but yet, many spend hundreds of dollars to on these miracle pills and see no results. These miracle weight-loss supplements all use the same motive. It’s called self-efficacy and believe it or not, you do not need these pills in order to use it. Self-efficacy in weight loss is something that has been speculated for years and many still wonder to this day if it works. Well, with the help of some scientific articles, I’m hoping to explain that. These articles are brought from the University of Minnesota, the nrjournal and lastly, from the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

First and foremost, what is self-efficacy? Self efficacy is the measure of one's own ability to complete tasks and reach goals. Essentially stating that if you believe you can achieve something, then that something is achievable. Let’s start with the article from the University of Minnesota. This study examined relationships between self-efficacy beliefs, weight control behaviors, and weight change among individuals participating in a weight loss trial. This study followed a simple questionnaire study to which participants were chosen to react either positively or neutral to their essential weight loss program. The method behind this study was that a large pool of participants were chosen (a total of 349 people) to take part in an 8 week long clinical trial. Of the participants, 87% were women, 65% were married, and 89% were White. Fifty-nine percent reported attending at least some college. This study involved a 1 hour meeting with a trainer and the actual weight loss intervention didn’t begin until week 5. Following this method once the pool of people were divided into two groups the actual trial begins. In this trail, the doctors used questionnaires derived from the Weight Efficacy Life-Style Questionnaire and this was used on baseline and weekly intervals following monthly after the trial was concluded. The Weight Efficacy life style questionnaire was only based on eating self-efficacy it was modified to include exercise self-efficacy. Some examples of eating self-efficacy were “How confident are you that you would be able to follow your eating plan on the weekends?” While for the exercise portion of the questionnaire some questions were “How confident are you that you would be able to follow your exercise plan when you are sore or tired?” and “How confident are you that you would be able to follow your exercise plan when you get very busy?” Nonetheless, what really came as a shocker to me were the results.

The results for this clinical trial were interesting in the sense that they covered grounds for a boatload of things. First and foremost, during the clinical trial fruit and vegetable intake increased as well as a deduction in the amount of fatty foods consumed throughout the weeks reported in this trail. Furthermore, throughout the trial those that stayed within the positive point of view reported having walked more blocks and climbed more stairs than during the original baseline. The only slight decreased noted in this trail were the decrease in eating self-efficacy and exercise self efficacy but it should be noted that about 40 percent of the participants weren’t in show during the last week (week 8). By the end of treatment, greater engagement in all weight control behaviors was associated with greater weight loss. Nonetheless, Self-efficacy predicted weight change at 8 weeks, with all effect sizes for eating and exercise self-efficacy and in each case, higher levels of self-efficacy predicted greater weight loss.

Next, comes the article from nrjournal. This article depicts the effect of self-efficacy on weight loss in...
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