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COMPARISON OF SELF-MONITORING TECHNIQUES FOR TRACKING EATING AND EXERCISE BEHAVIORS

by Helsel, Diane Lynn

Abstract (Summary)
COMPARISON OF SELF-MONITORING TECHNIQUES FOR TRACKING EATING AND EXERCISE BEHAVIORS Diane Lynn Helsel, PhD University of Pittsburgh, 2005 Self-monitoring of eating and exercise behaviors has traditionally been done in a detailed manner. Finding ways to simplify this approach would decrease the time involved in the recording process, which may improve long-term adherence to tracking eating and exercise behaviors during weight loss. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of two self-monitoring methods for tracking eating and exercise behaviors within the context of a 16 week correspondence-based weight loss intervention. Subjects for this investigation were forty-two overweight adult men and women, ages 21 to 45 with a BMI of 25 to 35 kg/m2. Subjects were randomized to one of two self-monitoring conditions: 1) detailed self-monitoring (DSM) and 2) detailed self-monitoring transitioning to abbreviated self-monitoring (TSM). Participants in both groups recorded eating and exercise behaviors in diaries that were completed daily and returned to investigators each week for review. Participants in the DSM group recorded detailed information about the type, quantity, calories and fat grams of food consumed and type, duration, and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) of exercise. Participants in the transitional (TSM) group self-monitored eating and exercise behaviors using the detailed (DSM) approach during weeks 1-8, but transitioned to an abbreviated diary during weeks 9-16. This diary allowed participants to simplify self-monitoring by using check marks to estimate the quality and quantity of foods eaten, and amount of exercise completed daily. Unlike the DSM group, specific details of eating and exercise were not recorded. A repeated measures design was utilized for this study. The independent variable was type of self-monitoring. The primary dependent variable was completion of eating and exercise diaries; secondary dependent variables were body weight, dietary intake and physical activity. The major finding of this investigation was that both groups were similar with regard to the amount of weight lost, food diary completion scores and changes in eating and exercise behavior. Consequently, this study identified an alternative tracking method (i.e., TSM) that may be less effortful, and provides a similar outcome as detailed self-monitoring.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Amy D. Otto, Ph.D, RD, LDN; Kara I. Gallagher, Ph.D.; Marsha D. Marcus, Ph.D.; John M. Jakicic, Ph.D.

School:University of Pittsburgh

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:health physical and recreation education

ISBN:

Date of Publication:04/18/2005

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