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Motivation For Weight Loss Differs Between Young And Older Adults
Analysis of data from 2,964 participants in the National Weight Control Registry found that motivations for weight loss and weight loss behaviors differed between young adults (ages 18-35) and older adults (36-50). While weight loss at entry into the Registry was similar between both younger and older adults, older adults maintained their weight loss for a significantly longer period of time. Of the nine possible reasons for weight loss, six were significantly different between the groups. Older adults were more likely to mention health as their motivation for losing weight, while young adults were more likely to mention appearance, social pressure, wanting to feel good about themselves, attending a social event, and to improve their social life. Older adults were more likely to enroll in a commercial weight loss program and talk with their physician as ways to lose weight, while young adults were more likely to attend exercise classes and to lose weight on their own. Both groups were physically active at entry into the Registry, but young adults were more likely to exercise vigorously, to exercise for weight loss, and to exercise in a group. Differences in motivations and behaviors between these two age groups should be taken into account when designing weight loss programs, according to the authors.