Previous research has found that people with an internal weight locus of control (beliefs in self-control over weight) are more likely to join and stay in weight-loss programs and have higher self-esteem than those who have an external locus of control (e.g., belief that weight is due to luck, genes). There has been no research on how weight locus of control affects the self-esteem of people who are not average weight or not satisfied with their weight. The present study predicted that for people who are overweight, weight locus of control would be negatively related to self-esteem. The results confirmed this interaction between weight locus of control and weight on self-esteem for women, but not for men. The second prediction was that internal weight locus of control would have negative social consequences in terms of greater negative stereotyping of obese people, and this was also confirmed for women. Because weight loss is rarely permanent, it would seem important to change people's attitudes about the lack of control that they (and others) have over body weight.
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||Psychology of Women Quarterly|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Dec 1997|