Do participants with children age 18 and under have suboptimal weight loss?

Diane L. Rosenbaum, Jocelyn E. Remmert, Evan M. Forman, Meghan L. Butryn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objectives: Parenthood is a time marked by behaviors that may promote risk for weight gain, including decreased physical activity and increased unhealthy eating. Little is known about parents in the context of behavioral weight loss, such as whether they differ in weight losses, and related barriers, or behaviors. Method: We compared parents of children aged 18 and younger (n = 105) to other participants who did not have children, or whose children were in adulthood (n = 215) in a behavioral weight loss program to evaluate six-month weight losses, and weight loss barriers and behaviors. Results: Parents of minor children lost less weight than other participants, and parental status interacted with gender such that men without minor children lost the most weight. Although parents of minor children identified greater stress, depression, time-related barriers to physical activity, and had less adherence to calorie goals, they did not differ from other participants in session attendance, emotional overeating, disinhibited eating, or physical activity. Discussion: Parents of minor children appear to have greater weight loss barriers, greater difficulty adhering to calorie goals, and less weight loss. Additional research is needed to identify ways to better serve parents in behavioral weight loss programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-74
Number of pages7
JournalEating Behaviors
StatePublished - Apr 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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