The way you think could be the key to healthy eating and weight loss
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Have you heard the idea that some people are just “born fat”? That weight loss for some isn’t possible because of genes?
What impact do these beliefs have on eating behaviour?
Research has found that people who believe they have control of their weight — that their weight is not determined by their DNA or that they were “born fat” – eat more healthily, have healthier BMIs and have higher levels of personal well-being.
The authors of the study explained:
If an individual believes weight to be outside of the influence of diet and exercise, she or he may engage in more behaviors that are rewarding in the short term, such as eating unhealthful foods and avoiding exercise, rather than healthful behaviors with more long-term benefits for weight management.
The study of roughly 5000 men and 5000 women also found:
As they get older, people who believed they controlled their weight:
- Took more notice of nutrition labels on food;
- Were more likely to have fruit and vegetables at home;
- Were also less likely to eat frozen meals, unhealthy restaurant food and ‘ready-to-eat’ foods; and
- Did more exercise.
There was little difference between men and women:
Although previous research has found gender differences in weight as a motivation for exercise and healthful eating, we did not find evidence that gender affected the relationship between health beliefs and physical activity or healthful eating.
The study was published in the journal Health Education & Behavior (Parent et al., 2015)
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