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The role of self-regulatory skills and automaticity on the effectiveness of a brief weight loss habit-based intervention: secondary analysis of the 10 top tips randomised trial

Kliemann, N; Vickerstaff, V; Croker, H; Johnson, F; Nazareth, I; Beeken, RJ; (2017) The role of self-regulatory skills and automaticity on the effectiveness of a brief weight loss habit-based intervention: secondary analysis of the 10 top tips randomised trial. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity , 14 , Article 119. 10.1186/s12966-017-0578-8. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Habit-interventions are designed to promote the automaticity of healthy behaviours and may also enhance self-regulatory skills during the habit-formation process. A recent trial of habit-based advice for weight loss (10 Top Tips; 10TT), found that patients allocated to 10TT lost significantly more weight over 3 months than those allocated to usual care, and reported greater increases in automaticity for the target behaviours. The current study aimed to test the hypothesis that i) 10TT increased self-regulatory skills more than usual care, and ii) that self-regulatory skills and automaticity changes mediated the effect of 10TT on weight loss. METHODS: 537 obese patients from 14 primary care practices in the UK were randomized to receive 10TT or usual care. Patients in the 10TT group received a leaflet containing tips for weight loss and healthy habits formation, a self-monitoring log book and a wallet-sized shopping guide on how to read food labels. Patients were weighed and completed validated questionnaires for self-regulation and automaticity at baseline and 3-month follow-up. Within-group and Between-group effects were explored using Paired T-test and ANCOVA, respectively. Mediation was assessed using bootstrapping to estimate indirect effects and the sobel test. RESULTS: Over 3 months patients who were given 10TT reported greater increases in self-regulatory skills (Mean difference: .08; 95% CI .01; .15) than those who received usual care. Changes in self-regulatory skills and automaticity over 3 months mediated the effect of the intervention on weight loss (β = .52, 95% Bias Corrected CI .17; .91). CONCLUSIONS: As hypothesised, 10TT enhanced self-regulatory skills and changes in self-regulatory skills and automaticity mediated the effect of the intervention on weight loss. This supports the proposition that self-regulatory training and habit formation are important features of weight loss interventions. TRIAL REGISTRATION: This study was prospectively registered with the International Standard Randomised Controlled Trials ( ISRCTN16347068 ) on 26 September 2011.

Type: Article
Title: The role of self-regulatory skills and automaticity on the effectiveness of a brief weight loss habit-based intervention: secondary analysis of the 10 top tips randomised trial
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s12966-017-0578-8
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12966-017-0578-8
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2017. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Keywords: Self-regulation, Habit formation, Automaticity, Weight loss, Intervention
UCL classification: UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care
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UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care > Primary Care and Population Health
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1573345
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