Desirable and undesirable weight changes as a function of locus of control and restrained eating in women
This study was designed to determine whether the Health Locus of Control and Restrained Eating subscores significantly differed among women having desirable, undesirable, and no weight changes. Further, the study examined the power of Locus of Control and Restrained Eating scores to predict current Body Mass Index (BMI) of women. Heights and weights were collected for three years on 94, 78 and 95 females in the first, second and third years, respectively. Subjects were also divided into normal-weight, overweight and obese groups. Desirability of the weight change classifications were based on the weight change between the second and third year. Undesirable weight changes were most observed in the obese group and no weight change was most frequent among normal- weight subjects. Desirable changes were seen equally in all three groups. , The results showed that individuals having undesirable weight changes had significantly higher External Locus of Control by Chance scores (CHLC) than the other desirable and no weight change groups, but they did not differ significantly in External Locus of Control by Powerful Others scores (PHLC), Internal Locus of Control -scores (IHLC) and Restrained Eating (RE) scores. Neither type of weight change, RE scores, nor their interaction had significant effect on PHLC, CHLC or IHLC. PHLC was significantly correlated with body mass index (BMI) in all three years (r=.40, r=.30, and r=.35 for the first, second and third years respectively). CHLC and IHLC did not correlate significantly with MBI. RE was significantly correlated with BMI in all three years (r=.33, r=.29 and r=.26 for the first, second and third years respectively). A multiple regression model indicated that 31 percent of the variance in weight change within a year could be explained by the weight change in the previous year. However, the addition of Restrained Eating subscores and Locus of Control subscores did not significantly increase its predictive power. It is concluded that in this sample Restrained Eating and Locus of Control are not useful in explaining or predicting weight changes.