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Use of a non-dieting approach to support weight management patients to improve eating behaviours and dietary intake : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand
Background/Aim: Overweight and obesity numbers continue to increase locally and internationally. It is well known that the ability to make and maintain dietary changes long-term is difficult for many individuals. In recent years, weight management focus has moved towards understanding the impact of psychological factors on managing weight and supporting related changes. This pilot study explored whether a non-dieting programme is an effective intervention for people within the hospital system classified as overweight and obese.
Methods: Participants (n=31) were enrolled in a 28-week intervention study: 1-3 month normal diet run-in; 4-week group intervention programme; 24 weeks of follow-up including 3 individual follow-up sessions over 3 months. Data was collected at baseline, at the end of group sessions and at the individual sessions for anthropometry, behavioural and cognitive approaches to food, dietary intake and changes in eating habits.
Results: Positive change was observed in emotional and external trigger eating style scores, decreasing from 2.67±1.04 and 3.06±.67 respectively at baseline to 1.98±.86 (P<0.002) and 2.56±.63 (P<0.001) at 6-month follow-up. Participants’ reported mean (±SD) intuitive eating level increased from 35.9±22.0 to 60.0±23.5 from baseline to end of intervention (P<0.000), increasing further at the 6-month follow-up (67.50±26.356) (P<0.001). Participant’s median [95%CI] confidence levels increased significantly after completing the group sessions, from 6.0 [5, 7.5] up to 8.0 [7, 9] (P<0.001, r=0.8) and confidence levels remained higher, 7.5 [5,8], at 6-month follow-up. Mean (±SD) weight did not change significantly during the study; 112.33±26.67 kg at baseline and 112.04±28.52 kg at 6-month follow-up.
Conclusions: Group-based intuitive eating weight management programmes can support participants to start making changes to improve their food-related behaviour and lifestyle to improve wellbeing and health.