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Am J Health Promot. 2010 Sep-Oct;25(1):30-5. doi: 10.4278/ajhp.090122-QUAN-22.

Emotional health and weight gain: a prospective study of midlife women.

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  • 1Department of Exercise Sciences, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 84602, USA.



Investigate the extent to which risk of weight gain is affected by emotional health. Also, determine the influence of age, baseline weight, physical activity (PA), energy intake, and changes in PA and energy intake on the relationship between emotional health and weight gain.


Prospective cohort.


Two metropolitan areas in the Mountain West.


Total of 256 middle-aged, apparently healthy women.


Emotional health was assessed using the General Well-Being Schedule. PA was measured using Actigraph accelerometers. Energy intake was measured using 7-day weighed food records. All assessments were taken at baseline and again at the follow-up approximately 2 years later.


Relative risk (RR) was calculated using incidence data.


With no variables controlled, women with less than positive (LTP) emotional health had 59% greater risk of weight gain (> or =2 kg) than women with positive emotional health (RR, 1.59; 95% confidence intervals [CI], 1.04-2.44). After adjustments for each potential confounder individually, risk of weight gain did not change significantly. However, adjusting for all of the potential confounders simultaneously weakened the risk of weight gain (RR, 1.43; 95% CI, .93-2.21). Risk of weight gain (> or =2 kg) was no greater in depressed women compared with their counterparts.


Middle-aged women with LTP emotional health are at significantly increased risk of weight gain over time compared with women with positive emotional health.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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