Saturday, November 29, 2014

Identifying Characteristics in Young People that Can Predict Weight Loss Success

Overweight and obesity are major problems, not only among mature adults, but among young adults and children. And approaches that effectively deal with overweight and obesity in young people are continually sought. Counseling is an important approach in many weight loss and weight management programs. And if the counselors have some indication of what personality characteristics lead to a healthy lifestyle, the counselors can try to produce the characteristics in the overweight or obese individual. And if the desired characteristics are produced early enough in life, children and young adults may be able to maintain a lifetime of healthy living.

Therefore, gaining insight into healthy-weight related characteristics is important. Understanding these characteristics can enable health care providers to  better identify those young people who can and those young people who cannot maintain a healthy weight. A study published in a 2014 "American Journal of Health Behavior" issue concluded that young adults who change their lifestyle to include weight self-monitoring, gym attendance, participation in exercise classes, and change in eating less fat were the best predictors or weight loss." So, inducing young people to adopt these behaviors could be helpful in avoiding overweight and obesity in mature adulthood.

The 5A counseling model, a well respected counseling approach, may be a good choice for instilling the desirable characteristics within a young person. The five components of the 5A approach are ASSESS, where the risks related to the overweight young person's behavior would be evaluated; ADVISE, where the young person would be given suggestions on how to change certain behaviors; AGREE, where the counselor and the young person agree to put goals in place; ASSIST, where the counselor would work with the young person to identify and plan to remove barriers to weight loss and weight control; and ARRANGE, where the counselor and young person would arrange for follow-up activities.

The 5A approach has proven to be effective. Therefore, utilizing the approach to may motivate young people to embrace the desirable healthy-living characteristics. Weight loss service providers may want to get a good understanding of these characteristics and the 5A counseling method. This understanding could help providers better serve their young clients. 


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