Study finds diet complexity linked to weight loss success

January 12, 2010 in Nutrition Topics in the News, Weight Management

Study finds diet complexity linked to weight loss success

New study findings are suggesting will power and determination may not be the only things that predict whether or not someone sticks to a weight loss diet.

Researchers from Indiana University and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Germany have found that the more complex a dieter perceives their diet, the sooner they are likely to give it up.

In the study, researchers surveyed nearly 400 women who were already taking part in one of two diets.  One diet required participants to follow a simple published meal plan, while the other required participants to count points as part of the diet.  After answering questions at the beginning, middle and end of an eight-week period, researchers found that women who were on the point-system diet perceived it to be more complicated, and were more likely to drop out.

Researchers found that even after accounting for the influence of self-efficacy, or the belief that they could succeed, the perceived complexity of a diet could undermine weight loss efforts.

The study was published in the journal Appetite. 

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