University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications


Weight loss motivations: a latent class analysis approach

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Adult; Body Mass Index; Cross-Sectional Studies; Female; Humans; Logistic Models; Male; Middle Aged; *Motivation; Odds Ratio; Overweight; *Weight Loss


Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Public Health


OBJECTIVE: To identify subgroups of adults with respect to weight loss motivations and assess factors associated with subgroup membership.

METHOD: A cross-sectional survey among 414 overweight/ obese employees in 12 Massachusetts high schools was conducted. Latent class analysis (LCA) defined distinct weight loss motivation classes. Multinomial logistic regression assessed participant characteristics with class membership.

RESULTS: Three classes emerged: improving health; improving health and looking/feeling better; and improving health, looking/feeling, better and improving personal/social life. Compared to class 1, class 2 was more likely to be female and younger and class 3 was more likely to be female, younger, have children at home, and perceive themselves as very over-weight.

CONCLUSIONS: Findings can inform targeted weight loss interventions.

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Citation: Am J Health Behav. 2014 Jul;38(4):605-13. doi: 10.5993/AJHB.38.4.14. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

American journal of health behavior

PubMed ID