Global Obesity Study on Drivers for Weight Reduction Strategies

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To assess factors determining the reaction of individuals to the threats of overweight and obesity and to examine the interdependencies between weight-reducing strategies. METHODS Cross-country survey covering 19 countries and 13,155 interviews. Data were analysed using a bivariate probit model that allows simultaneously analysing two weight-reducing strategies. RESULTS Results show that weight-reducing strategies chosen are not independent from each other. Findings also reveal that different strategies are chosen by different population segments. Women are more likely to change their dietary patterns and less likely to become physically active after surpassing a weight threshold. In addition, the probability of a dietary change in case of overweight differs considerably between countries. The study also reveals that attitudes are an important factor for the strategy choice. CONCLUSIONS It is vital for public health policies to understand determinants of citizens' engagement in weight reduction strategies once a certain threshold is reached. Thus, results can support the design of public health campaigns and programmes that aim to change community or national health behaviour trends taking into account, e.g., national differences.

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