KNOW ABOUT SELF-REPORT MEASURES OF DIETING
Third, self-report measures of dieting over the past year and dieting support frequency over the prior four weeks were used. Given that weight-loss treatment programs appear to have more beneficial effects on weight-loss than spontaneous dieting efforts, it may be advantageous to investigate the effect of natural partner support within a sample of women involved in a weight-loss treatment program. Alternatively, experimental research could be carried out in which romantic partners providing support to women’s individual weight-loss efforts may be trained in weight-loss support provision and the impact of this additional support investigated.
The current study has some notable strengths. It analysed a wide range of psychological and interpersonal correlates of dieting. Specifically, the separate consideration of healthy and unhealthy dieting in terms of dieting context allowed conclusions to be drawn regarding the different predictors and causal factors regarding these two different forms of dieting. Further, this research proposed and confirmed mediation and moderation models involving self and relationship functioning in association with unhealthy dieting, and plausible alternative explanations were ruled out by controlling for third variables (such as BMI, relationship satisfaction, and healthy dieting). Second, although previous research has examined the psychological and interpersonal correlates of general social support within intimate relationships, this is the first study to my knowledge to examine these correlates with the specific support provided by romantic partners for weight-loss efforts. In particular, the majority of past research on partner support of weight loss has focused on spousal involvement in a weight-loss treatment program, and most of these studies were published 20 years ago. The current study examined support of women’s every day weight-loss efforts, allowing some new insights into the impact of naturally occurring partner support on use of dieting techniques. First, the scope of the study did not allow sufficient time and resources to gather a large sample size, and so the study lacked statistical power. A lack of power also meant that partner support could not split into subtypes when calculating correlations between partner support and self and relationship functioning. Second, the difficulty in finding participants forced the use of a mixed sample in terms of overweight and normal weight individuals.