Title: “Self-Determination Theory and Coaching: Toward Long-term Weight Loss in Overweight and Obese Adults”
Supervisor: Dr. Laura Hurd Clarke (Kinesiology)
Second Reader: Dr. Peter Crocker (Kinesiology)
Abstract: Obesity and overweightness are common challenges for middle-aged and older adults with 62% of Canadian men and 47% of Canadian women over the age of 45 being either obese (BMI >= 30) or overweight (25 <= BMI < 30). Being obese (especially) or overweight is associated with many negative health consequences including increased risks of high blood pressure, sleep apnea, high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, as well as insulin resistance and diabetes. Unfortunately, significant weight loss is rarely achieved over the long-term with many adults making several unsuccessful attempts over the course of their lives. The most likely long-term outcome for people who lose weight is to regain all of it within five to six years, with many people gaining it back much sooner. Those who avoid regaining weight do so by controlling their food choices, taking part in physical activity, and/or by being constantly vigilant about their eating and exercise behaviours. This paper will explore the use of self-determination theory and coaching techniques as ways to help obese and overweight individuals to manage their weight and level of physical activity and reduce the risk of relapse.