Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Dean G. Cruess, Ph.D., Amy R. Mobley, Ph.D.

Field of Study



Master of Arts

Open Access

Open Access


There is considerable variability in response to behavioral weight control treatment. Identifying pretreatment health behaviors that predict an individual’s weight loss success has the potential to assist with assignment into more appropriate treatment settings (i.e., standard behavioral program versus comprehensive home environment program) that are likely to yield greater weight loss outcomes over time. Participants (N= 201; 48.9 ± 10.5 years; 78.1% women) enrolled in a study comparing a standard behavioral weight loss program (BWL; n=99) to a home-environment focused weight loss program (BWL+H; n=102) completed baseline questionnaires assessing individual control variables (i.e., dietary restraint, self-weighing) and control over the home environment (i.e., grocery shopping, meal preparation practices). Successful weight loss (SWL), defined as demonstrating a ≥5% weight loss at 18-months, was objectively measured. Logistic regression was used to identify significant predictors of SWL both in the overall sample and in each of the treatment conditions. Less than half of all participants endorsed having moderate dietary restraint (45.7%), self-weighing at least 1 time per week (44.6%), being the primary grocery shopper (45.8%), or preparing the majority of meals at home (39.8%). Significant associations were observed among potential pretreatment predictors. Infrequent self-weighing was associated with eating meals away from home (r= .396, p <.01), and lower dietary restraint (r= -.221, p <.01). Preparing less than half of all meals at home was associated with poor dietary restraint (r= -.177, p<.05). 48.3% participants maintained SWL at 18-months (53.9% of BWL+H condition; 42.8% of BWL condition, p=.104). Logistic regression analyses revealed that none of the studied variables were associated with weight loss success in the full model, although race was a significant predictor of SWL (p<.05, OR=.697[.486-.999]). However, primary grocery shopper status was a significant predictor of SWL among BWL+H participants (p<.05, OR=3.90 [1.26-12.035]), while preparing the majority of meals at home was a significant predictor of SWL in the BWL condition (p<.05, OR=.508 [.264-.976]). Our results provide some evidence to support the importance of assessing novel home environment control variables, including grocery shopper status and meal preparation practices during the pretreatment phase, while recognizing the potential role of these variables in future behavioral weight loss programming.

Major Advisor

Amy A. Gorin, Ph.D.