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Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2006 Mar-Apr;2(2):165-70.

A comparison of weight histories in women with class III vs. class I-II obesity.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Weight and Eating Disorders Program, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.



To describe the weight histories of women with extreme or class III obesity (BMI >or= 40 kg/m2) in comparison with a sample of women with class I-II obesity (BMI < 40 kg/m2) and to provide reliability data for a clinical instrument that assesses weight history.


Female patients (N = 149) with extreme obesity seeking bariatric surgery and 90 class I-II obese women seeking behavioral treatment completed the Weight and Lifestyle Inventory (WALI), a self-report instrument that assesses age of onset of obesity, maximum weight at different ages, family weight history, and weight changes related to pregnancy. Test-retest reliability data were obtained by administering the WALI to a subsample (n = 58) of class I-II obese participants at their initial visit and at another pretreatment visit 1 to 2 weeks later.


Patients with extreme obesity had a significantly younger age of onset of obesity, were significantly heavier at all age ranges, reported significantly more weight gain with their first pregnancy, and had significantly heavier parents and siblings as compared with less obese patients. There were no significant differences between groups with respect to weight gain during second pregnancies or postpartum weight retention. Robust test-retest correlations were obtained for the weight history items on the WALI.


Patients with extreme obesity report more indicators of a genetic predisposition to obesity as compared with less obese patients. The WALI appears to be a reliable instrument for the assessment of weight history in obese patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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