Family functioning and weight loss in a sample of african americans and whites.
BACKGROUND: Traditionally, weight management behavioral research has focused on individual-level influences, with little attention given to interpersonal factors that relate to the family behavioral context. PURPOSE: This research examines the association between baseline family functioning scores and weight loss success in a sample of African Americans and Whites enrolled in a 20-week weight loss program with a weight loss goal of ≥ 4 kg. METHODS: Baseline surveys measuring six family functioning constructs were completed by 291 participants in a trial of weight loss maintenance. Analysis was limited to 217 participants in households with at least one other family member, and providing final weight measurements. We evaluated associations of family functioning, family composition, and demographic variables with weight loss success defined as losing ≥ 5% of initial body weight. Baseline predictors of weight loss success were determined using logistic regression analysis. RESULTS: Participants were on average 61 years of age with BMI of 34 kg/m(2); 57% were female and 75% self-identified as African American. Sixty-two percent lost at least 5% of initial body weight. In bivariate analysis, weight loss success was associated with higher income and education (p < 0.01 and p = 0.05, respectively), ethnicity (p < 0.01), and the presence of a spouse (p = 0.01). After adjusting for socio-demographic covariates in a multivariable model, the odds of weight loss success were independently influenced by a significant interaction between ethnicity and family cohesion (p < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that family context factors influence weight loss behaviors.
Samuel-Hodge, CD; Gizlice, Z; Cai, J; Brantley, PJ; Ard, JD; Svetkey, LP
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