TABLE 7-1 Predictors of Weight Loss


Personal Factors

High initial body weight or body mass index

High resting metabolic rate or resting energy expenditure

High perceived self-efficacy

Process Factors

Attendance at program

Experiencing weight loss early in program

Treatment Factors

Increased length of treatment

Having social support

Engaging in physical activity

Incorporation of behavior modification techniques


Goal setting

Slowing rate of eating


Repeated attempts at weight loss

Experiencing perceived stress

(Others include the opposites of the positive indicators)


Total body fat, fat distribution, and body composition

Personality/psychopathology test results

Dietary restraint

Binge eating

NOTE: With the exception of resting metabolic rate, the absence of metabolic and physiological factors as predictors of weight loss is not an oversight. The measurement of metabolic factors is beyond the practice of the vast majority of obesity-treatment programs, and it is not surprising that data are not available. It is likely that with additional research, some factors can be identified. For example, although adipose tissue lipoprotein lipase (LPL) activity is increased in obesity, there are no studies identifying LPL activity as a predictor of weight loss. Future studies are needed to identify metabolic and physiologic predictors of weight loss (see Chapter 10 ).

SOURCES: Brownell and Wadden, 1992; Foreyt and Goodrick, 1991, 1994; O'Neil and Jarrell, 1992; Perri et al., 1992; and Wadden and Letizia, 1992.

weight management has been found to predict greater weight loss (Oettingen and Wadden, 1991). Assessing self-efficacy before weight-loss treatment begins and applying cognitive-behavioral methods to increase low levels may increase overall response to treatment.

Further research is needed to determine how apparent self-regulatory

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