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196751 Intuitive eating: A novel health promotion strategy for obese women
Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 9:10 AM
BACKGROUND: With obesity rates at an all time high, it is imperative to gather data on new methods for effectively promoting health in this population. Consequently, a growing number of researchers have called for a closer look at adaptive eating strategies. Intuitive eating is a recently defined and validated construct that is inversely related to, although distinct from, the absence of eating disorder pathology. Intuitive eaters (i.e., those who use physiological cues of hunger and satiety to guide their eating patterns) have been shown to have lower BMIs and higher scores on measures of well-being. METHODS: For the present study, the construct of intuitive eating was examined among a sample of 80 obese women currently participating in a randomized controlled trial comparing the health benefits of a self-care focused intervention versus a traditional weight loss intervention. The sample was recruited primarily by advertising in a coupon magazine delivered to households in a semi-rural county in Pennsylvania. Participants are primarily white (96%); many attended at least some college (65%). The mean age of participants is 39.6 years (SD=4.1; range 30-45), and the mean BMI is 38 (SD=3.9; range 30-45). RESULTS: Analysis of baseline data suggest intuitive eating is positively associated with self esteem (r=.43, p<.001), and negatively associated with uncontrolled and emotional eating (r=-.60, p<.001; r=-.63, p<.001, respectively). Using logistic regression, the data demonstrated that individuals scoring higher on the Intuitive Eating Scale were less likely to report binge eating (OR=.25, p=.04). Furthermore, a negative association was found between intuitive eating and scores on the Power of Food scale, which measures the degree to which the availability and presence of food controls ones thoughts, attention, and behavior (r=-.55, p<.001). Marginal negative associations were also found between intuitive eating and depression, anxiety, and stress (r=-.22, p=.05; r=-.19; p=.09, r=-20; p=.07, respectively). Post-intervention data will be analyzed to determine the effectiveness of self-care focus versus weight loss focus on adaptive eating behaviors. DISCUSSION: This study underscores the importance of avoiding prescriptive diets by positing intuitive eating is a novel health improvement strategy that considers the temporality of dieting and negative consequence of weight cycling.
Keywords: Obesity, Health Promotion
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: EDUCATION
Ph.D. in Psychology/Concentrations: Health Research & Quantitative Methodology May 2003, The Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York
Postdoctoral Fellow in Health Behavior Research, June 2003-June 2004, Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia / University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Postdoctoral Fellow in Biostatistics, July 2004-July 2005
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Center for
Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics
RELEVANT WORK EXPERIENCE
Assistant Professor, 2005-2007, Taught "Public Health of Nutrition, Weight, and Eating Behaviors", Masters of Public Health Program, SUNY Downstate Medical School, Brooklyn, NY
Director of Research, 2007-present, Reading Hospital and Medical Center
Research Assistant Professor, 2009-present, Thomas Jefferson University, Division of Biostatistics
CURRENT RESEARCH FUNDING
Principal Investigator, Comparative health improvements and rate of relapse in weight-centered vs. wellness centered interventions, Edna G. Kynett Memorial Foundation for Cardiovascular disease prevention, 2008-2011
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I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.