Weight change, psychological well-being, and vitality in adults participating in a cognitive-behavioral weight loss program

Charles Swencionis, Judith Wylie-Rosett, Michelle R. Lent, Mindy Ginsberg, Christopher Cimino, Sylvia Wassertheil-Smoller, Arlene Caban, Carol Jane Segal-Isaacson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations


Objective: Excess weight has been associated with numerous psychological problems, including depression and anxiety. This study examined the impact of intentional weight loss on the psychological well-being of adults participating in three clinical weight loss interventions. Methods: This population consisted of 588 overweight or obese individuals randomized into one of three weight loss interventions of incremental intensity for 12 months. Psychological well-being was measured at baseline and 6, and 12 months using the Psychological Well-Being Index. Results: Mean weight loss was 5.0 pounds at 12 months. Weight change at 12 months was associated with higher overall psychological well-being (r = -.20, p <. 001), lower levels of anxiety (r = -.16, p =. 001) and depression (r = -.13, p =. 004), and higher positive well-being (r = -.19, p <. 001), self-control (r = -.13, p =. 004), and vitality (r = -.22, p <. 001). Vitality was found to be the best predictor of weight change at 12 months (p <. 001). Conclusions: Weight loss was associated with positive changes in psychological well-being. Increased vitality contributed the largest percentage of variance to this change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)439-446
Number of pages8
JournalHealth Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2013



  • Obesity
  • Psychological well-being
  • Vitality
  • Weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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