WEIGHT-LOSS SUPPORT CONCEPTUALISATIONS
First, Marcoux, Trenkner, and Rosenstock ran a pilot study to investigate the role of affective, instrumental, appraisal, and negative support in weight-loss. They found appraisal support, defined as receiving reinforcement for behaviour, was most strongly associated with weight loss. Furthermore, they separated out sources of support and noted that neighbours and friends were the leading sources of appraisal weight-loss support, neighbours and spouses were the leading sources of affective weight-loss support, and coworkers and friends were the leading sources of instrumental weight-loss support, with ‘others’ being the top source of interference in weight-loss attempts.
Rieder and Ruderman provided the first evaluation of weight loss support in terms of a social support taxonomy. In this taxonomy, emotional support was inclusive of expressions of concern for health and encouragement for dieting; instrumental support included the provision of material aid or specific services; informational support involved the supply of information that would aid weight management; and finally appraisal support involved the provision of feedback or compliments about the diet.