Weight-loss treatment programs Numerous weight-loss treatment programs have been developed with a range of success in their outcomes. Psychotherapy for weight-loss tends to utilise cognitive-behavioural therapy techniques, focusing on healthy cognitions surrounding food, eating, and exercise. More specifically, however, drug and surgery weight-loss treatments were more effective in producing short and long-term weight-loss than psychotherapeutic treatments. Individual weight-loss efforts. However, the study of weight loss programs has limited utility for understanding the psychology of dieting behaviour, given that very few dieting women report use of a supervised weight loss group or diet centre. Moreover, dieting is very common among women. French and Jeffery found that 61% of adults had reported dieting in their lifetime, 32% were currently trying to lose weight, and 20% were currently dieting to lose weight. Individual weight-loss attempts tend to primarily consist of decreasing caloric intake and increasing exercise. There is evidence that dieters employ both healthy (e.g. reducing fat intake, increasing exercise, decreasing snacking) and unhealthy dieting techniques (e.g. fasting, diet pills, vomiting). Among Australian adolescent girls, Grigg, Bowman, and Redman found that while the majority were exercising more and eating less fatty, sugary foods to lose weight, for most this was not the only weight reduction technique used – 57% of the young women were classified as practicing unhealthy dieting techniques such as inappropriately cutting out foods, skipping meals, and fad dieting, and 36% were classified as using extreme dieting techniques such as crash dieting, fasting, slimming tablets, and laxatives.
Research suggests that such self-directed weight-loss attempts are relatively ineffective at reducing weight in the short-term. Further, dieting attempts in adolescence are counter-intuitively related to weight gain in adulthood. Second, dieting may in fact be a causal factor in weight gain. Increased restriction of food intake is related to subsequent binge episodes and consequent weight gain. Third, dieting may be a marker for later weight gain if women diet when they are aware of a family history of obesity and are attempting to prevent their own inevitable weight gain.