A Modified Obesity Proneness Model Predicts Adolescent Weight Concerns and Inability to Self-Regulate Eating Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: The prevalence of obesity among high school students has risen in recent decades. Many high school students report trying to lose weight and some engage in disordered eating to do so. The obesity proneness model suggests that parents may influence their offspring's development of disordered eating. This study examined the viability of a modified obesity proneness model in a high school population. METHODS: Cross-sectional survey data from a random cluster sample of 1533 students in grades 9-12 from a Florida school district were analyzed using structural equation modeling. Variables included adolescents' weight concerns; inability to self-regulate eating; and perceptions about maternal comments about adolescents' weight, restrictive feeding practices, and maternal weight-related concern and values. RESULTS: All the model's originally proposed relationships were statistically significant, for example perceived maternal weight comments were associated with adolescents' weight concerns (β = 0.64; p < .0001), and perceived maternal restrictive feeding practices were associated with adolescents' inability to self-regulate eating (β = 0.22; p < .001). CONCLUSION: Some points of intervention should be subjected to empirical study. These interventions should give mothers guidance about appropriate feeding practices and discourage mothers from making weight-related comments to their offspring. Together, as 1 component of a multilevel intervention, these behaviors may help prevent disordered eating and obesity.


  • Walsh-Buhi, Eric
  • Nickelson, Jen
  • Bryant, Carol A
  • McDermott, Robert J
  • Buhi, Eric R
  • DeBate, Rita D

publication date

  • November 2012