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Eat Behav. 2009 Dec;10(4):220-7. doi: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2009.07.004. Epub 2009 Jul 16.

Adherence and weight loss outcomes associated with food-exercise diary preference in a military weight management program.

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Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland 20814, United States.


The more consistently someone records their food intake the more likely they are to lose weight. We hypothesized that subjects who kept track via their preferred method would demonstrate higher adherence and therefore improved outcomes compared to those who used a non-preferred method. Participants were randomly assigned to use a paper, PDA, or Web-based diary and classified as "Preferred" if they used their preferred method and "Non-Preferred" if they did not. Days adherent to diary use were collected for 12 weeks. Weight, % body fat, waist circumference, and self-efficacy scores were measured at baseline, 6 and 12 weeks. Thirty nine participants completed the 12 week study. Fifty nine percent were male. The mean age was 35 and mean baseline BMI was 33 kg/m(2) (+/-3.5). Forty four % (n=17) used their "Preferred" diary method and 56% (n=22) did not. Participants who used their preferred diary were more adherent to recording both food intake (64.2% vs. 43.4%, p=.015) and exercise (60.6% vs. 31.2%, p=.001). Though no difference was seen between groups on weight management outcomes, these results suggest that diary preference affects adherence to diary use.

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