Examination of three-factor eating questionnaire subscale scores on weight loss and weight loss maintenance in a clinical intervention

Natalie M. Papini, Rachel N.S. Foster, Nanette V. Lopez, Lauren T. Ptomey, Stephen D. Herrmann, Joseph E. Donnelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: The purpose of this study is to examine three-factor eating questionnaire (TFEQ) scores at baseline and post-intervention (6 months) on successful weight loss and weight maintenance in an 18-month behavioral weight management intervention for adults with overweight and obesity. Methods: TFEQ and weight were assessed at baseline, 6, and 18 months. Logistic regression models were used to examine scores at baseline on disinhibition, restraint, and perceived hunger factors in the TFEQ on 5% body weight loss at 6 months and 6-month scores to predict 5% weight maintenance at 18 months while controlling for age, sex, and baseline weight. Results: Participants (n = 287; age = 43.8 ± 10.36 years; female = 64.1%; weight = 222.5 ± 39.02 pounds; BMI = 34.73 ± 4.56) were included for analysis. Dietary restraint at baseline was the only significant predictor of 5% weight loss at 6 months. None of the TFEQ subscale scores at 6 months predicted 5% weight maintenance at 18 months. The model examining weight loss at 6 months accounted for 7% of the variance of the outcome and 11% of the variance of weight maintenance at 18 months. Conclusion: Dietary restraint is a unique eating behavior associated with weight loss at 6 months beyond other eating behaviors measured by the TFEQ in an adult sample enrolled in a weight loss intervention. No other subscale scores were significant at 6 months or at 18 months. Future research should consider how to promote flexible control and discourage adoption of rigid restraint behaviors since the latter is associated with disordered eating patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101
JournalBMC psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Disinhibition
  • Eating behaviors
  • Hunger
  • Restraint

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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