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Perceived Effective Weight Control Strategies by Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Participation and Income Among California Women

2012 | Download

This report uses data from the 2009 California Women's Health Survey to analyze how understandings of effective weight loss are stratified by income.

Less than one-third of California’s low income women and one quarter of very low income women identified the recommended strategy for weight loss, pairing increased energy expenditure with reduced energy intake.  Mandatory menu labeling can raise Californian women’s awareness of the caloric implications of their food choices, while public health messaging can emphasize the importance of both calories consumed and energy spent.  Environmental changes that foster energy output can be supportive in many settings.

  • Overall, three weight control strategies were most commonly reported: combining physical activity and dietary change (31.8 percent); being active with no mention of diet (28.8 percent); and restricting food intake (e.g., limiting calories, reducing portion size) with no inclusion of physical activity (22.9 percent).
  • Another 13.4 percent of women recommended changing food habits (e.g., eat “better” food, consume more fruits and vegetables, follow a vegetarian diet), but not limiting calories or serving sizes.
  • A very small proportion, 3.2 percent, identified non-diet or physical activity strategies such as social support, will-power, medical intervention, drinking water, or other lifestyle changes.

Read the rest of the report.