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The role of motivation to eat in the prediction of weight control behaviors in female and male adolescents

Thøgersen-Ntoumani, Cecilie and Ntoumanis, Nikos and Barkoukis, Vassilis and Spray, Christopher M. (2009) The role of motivation to eat in the prediction of weight control behaviors in female and male adolescents. Eating Behaviors, 10. pp. 107-114. ISSN 1471-0153

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URL of Published Version: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/14710153

Identification Number/DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eatbeh.2009.03.001

Objective: To examine whether motivation to eat variables predict changes in dieting and weight control behaviors in both gender groups over time.
Method: Greek adolescents (n=247), aged 14–18 years, completed questionnaires measuring different
dimensions of motivation to eat, dieting, healthy and unhealthy weight control behaviors. Dieting and weight
control behaviors were measured five months later.
Results: Compliance motivation positively predicted changes in dieting in males and a number of unhealthy
weight control behaviors in females. Coping motivation negatively predicted meal skipping in both genders
and was associated with a lower risk of vomiting in females. Social motivation positively predicted eating less
high fat food in males while pleasure motivation was associated with a reduced likelihood of eating more
fruits and vegetables in females and a reduced risk of fasting in males.
Conclusion: Intervention programs designed to facilitate healthy and circumvent unhealthy weight control
practices in adolescents should attend to gender differences in motivational factors shown to predict dieting
and weight control behaviors. For females it may be important to minimize compliance motivation whereas
for males, programs that foster social motivation to eat might be appropriate.

Type of Work:Article
Date:20 March 2009 (Publication)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
Department:School of Sport and Exercise Science
Subjects:GV Recreation Leisure
BF Psychology
Institution:University of Birmingham
Copyright Holders:Elsevier
ID Code:382
Refereed:YES
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