Support for obesity-related policy and its association with motivation for weight control

F Gillison, Dorota Juszczyk, Lydia Emm

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Background: Reducing obesity is an important public health priority for which new approaches are needed. Policy intervention targeting social and environmental change is one such approach, having been successfully applied to address health behaviours such as smoking. However, how a policy is supported and perceived by the public, rather than simply its content, is important in determining its efficacy; losing weight requires personal effort even in a supportive environment, so the influence of policy on people’s motivation to engage with it is important. The present study aimed to investigate currently levels of support for obesity-related policy in the UK, and explore its association with beliefs and attributions surrounding obesity, a person’s weight, and their motivation towards weight control behaviours.
Methods: 202 UK adults (Mean age 44 years [range 18-80]; 48% male) completed two questionnaires one week apart. Beliefs and attitudes relating to obesity were measured at Time 1, and support for obesity-related policy and motivation towards weight control at Time 2. Weight and height measurements were also obtained for 126 participants.
Results and conclusions:77% of participants supported the introduction of redistributive and/or compensatory social policies, although only 44% supported price-raising policies. Policy support was positively predicted by perceived severity of obesity (β = 0.19), and perceived pressure from society to be thin (β = 0.28); BMI was not a significant predictor. However, policy support was associated with controlled (i.e., poor quality), but not autonomous motivation, suggesting such approaches are still viewed as actions done ‘to’ us rather than ‘with’ us.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 11 Dec 2012
Event8th Annual Scientific Meeting of the UK Society for Behavioural Medicine - Manchester, UK United Kingdom
Duration: 10 Dec 201211 Dec 2012

Conference

Conference8th Annual Scientific Meeting of the UK Society for Behavioural Medicine
CountryUK United Kingdom
CityManchester
Period10/12/1211/12/12

Fingerprint

Motivation
Obesity
Weights and Measures
Health Priorities
Behavior Control
Health Behavior
Public Policy
Public Health
Smoking
Pressure

Cite this

Gillison, F., Juszczyk, D., & Emm, L. (2012). Support for obesity-related policy and its association with motivation for weight control. Paper presented at 8th Annual Scientific Meeting of the UK Society for Behavioural Medicine, Manchester, UK United Kingdom.

Support for obesity-related policy and its association with motivation for weight control. / Gillison, F; Juszczyk, Dorota; Emm, Lydia.

2012. Paper presented at 8th Annual Scientific Meeting of the UK Society for Behavioural Medicine, Manchester, UK United Kingdom.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Gillison, F, Juszczyk, D & Emm, L 2012, 'Support for obesity-related policy and its association with motivation for weight control' Paper presented at 8th Annual Scientific Meeting of the UK Society for Behavioural Medicine, Manchester, UK United Kingdom, 10/12/12 - 11/12/12, .
Gillison F, Juszczyk D, Emm L. Support for obesity-related policy and its association with motivation for weight control. 2012. Paper presented at 8th Annual Scientific Meeting of the UK Society for Behavioural Medicine, Manchester, UK United Kingdom.
Gillison, F ; Juszczyk, Dorota ; Emm, Lydia. / Support for obesity-related policy and its association with motivation for weight control. Paper presented at 8th Annual Scientific Meeting of the UK Society for Behavioural Medicine, Manchester, UK United Kingdom.
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AB - Background: Reducing obesity is an important public health priority for which new approaches are needed. Policy intervention targeting social and environmental change is one such approach, having been successfully applied to address health behaviours such as smoking. However, how a policy is supported and perceived by the public, rather than simply its content, is important in determining its efficacy; losing weight requires personal effort even in a supportive environment, so the influence of policy on people’s motivation to engage with it is important. The present study aimed to investigate currently levels of support for obesity-related policy in the UK, and explore its association with beliefs and attributions surrounding obesity, a person’s weight, and their motivation towards weight control behaviours. Methods: 202 UK adults (Mean age 44 years [range 18-80]; 48% male) completed two questionnaires one week apart. Beliefs and attitudes relating to obesity were measured at Time 1, and support for obesity-related policy and motivation towards weight control at Time 2. Weight and height measurements were also obtained for 126 participants. Results and conclusions:77% of participants supported the introduction of redistributive and/or compensatory social policies, although only 44% supported price-raising policies. Policy support was positively predicted by perceived severity of obesity (β = 0.19), and perceived pressure from society to be thin (β = 0.28); BMI was not a significant predictor. However, policy support was associated with controlled (i.e., poor quality), but not autonomous motivation, suggesting such approaches are still viewed as actions done ‘to’ us rather than ‘with’ us.

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