9th International Congress On Obesity - Abstracts and Short Reports

International Journal of Obesity (2004) 28, 334–335. doi:10.1038/sj.ijo.0802530 Published online 25 November 2003

Behavioural correlates of successful weight reduction over 3 y. Results from the Lean Habits Study

J Westenhoefer1, B von Falck1, A Stellfeldt1 and S Fintelmann2

  1. 1Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Hamburg, Germany
  2. 2PreCon GmbH & Co. KG, Darmstadt, Germany

Correspondence: Professor Dr J Westenhoefer, Department of Nutrition and Home Economics, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Lohbruegger Kirchstr. 65, 21033 Hamburg, Germany. E-mail: joachim@westenhoefer.de

Received 29 July 2003; Revised 3 September 2003; Accepted 24 September 2003; Published online 25 November 2003.



OBJECTIVE: To examine behavioural characteristics of subjects with successful long-term weight reduction.

DESIGN: Prospective cohort study with 3 y follow-up.

SETTING: Multicentre study of participants of a commercial weight-reduction programme (BCM-Programme).

SUBJECTS: Until February 2000, 6857 voluntary study participants were included. Analyses are based on 1247 subjects with complete 3 y data.

INTERVENTIONS: Open-group dietary and behavioural counselling with initial meal substitutions.

RESULTS: Subjects show a number of significant behavioural improvements, for example, choice of low-fat food, flexible control of eating behaviour and coping with stress. Subjects who maintain these changes by the end of the first year have a higher probability of successful weight reduction after 3 y.

CONCLUSIONS: Successful weight maintenance is associated with more pronounced improvements of health behaviours after 1 y. The likelihood of success increases with the number of behavioural patterns which are involved in the process of change.


eating behaviour, long-term weight reduction, flexible control

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