Body confidence important for losing weight, says study

20 July 2011

Scientists from the Technical University of Lisbon and Bangor University have strengthened the case that a positive sense of self is crucial to long-term weight loss.

The study enrolled a group of overweight and obese women on a 30-week exercise routine, with half of the group given general information on weight loss while the other half received this support plus a weekly group session on issues like improving body image.

Overall, the latter group lost more than seven per cent of their weight on average compared with just two per cent in the group deprived of the weekly session, the study published in the International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity found.

Dr Teixeira described how the findings "showed a strong correlation between improvements in body image, especially in reducing anxiety about other peoples' opinions and positive eating behaviour".

While some weight gain is preventable, many experts now link obesity with type 2 diabetes, currently projected to affect four million people in the UK by 2025. Furthermore, according to claims made in the Diabetic Medicine journal in 2003, for those affected by diabetes, surgery offers the only real answer for long-term sustained weight loss.

Posted by Edward Bartel

Eliana V Carraca et al. "Body image change and improved eating self-regulation in a weight management intervention in women." International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. July 18th 2011.

"Diabetes in the UK: 2010. Key statistics on diabetes." Diabetes UK, March 2010, p. 9.

Zimmet, P, Shaw J, Alberti KG. "Preventing type 2 diabetes and the dysmetabolic syndrome in the real world: a realistic view." Diabetic Medicine. August 19th 2003.

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