Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Dietetics Administration (MDA)


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences

Committee Chair(s)

Noreen B. Schvaneveldt


Noreen B. Schvaneveldt


Janet Anderson


Tammy Vitale


Von Mendenhall


The purpose of this study was to determine if health locus of control (LOC) is a reliable indicator of weight Joss maintenance. It was hypothesized that a high internal locus of control (ILOC) is a reliable indicator for weight loss maintenance in individuals, while external locus of control (ELOC) contributes to weight re-gain after weight loss.

The study involved 203 adults who completed a seven section questionnaire. Subjects were separated into groups based on their sub-category of locus of control, as well as their degree within the sub-category (high, moderate, or low in either internal (ILOC), external (ELOC), or fate, luck of chance locus of control(CLOC). Statistical analysis (crosstabulations and frequency tables) were used to help describe the study population.

Overall, the success of weight Joss maintenance in this study population was above average. A review of the findings in this study include the following:
1) Study participants described their weight accurately with the national standard.
2) Subjects with a strong ILOC had a lower Body Mass Index (BMI) than subjects with a strong CLOC.
3) There was no difference identified among locus of control and the type of diet that subjects were likely to choose.
4) Participants who followed a diet which was either developed by a Registered Dietitian (individual counseling or group classes), or learned in a class setting not taught by a Registered Dietitian (such as American Heart Association, etc) achieved 100% weight loss maintenance.
5) Subjects with either a high ILOC, moderate ELOC, or CLOC, had higher percent weight loss maintenance.
6) The second attempt at any particular diet had lower percent weight loss maintenance than when the diet was tried for the first time.
7) Subjects who scored higher in either internal or external LOC achieved a higher percent of weight loss maintenance than when the same type of diet is followed by someone with a lesser LOC score.
8) Subjects with strong ILOC maintained a higher percent weight loss than subjects with a moderate internal LOC.
9) Subjects with moderate ELOC maintained more weight loss than those with a low ELOC.
10) Subjects with low CLOC maintained more weight loss than those with a moderate CLOC.