Journal of Behavioral Medicine
Springer New York LLC
Harmful effects of weight self-stigma on quality of life and health behaviors have been well-established. However, the processes that lead to these negative outcomes are less understood. Psychological inflexibility is defined as a pattern of rigid psychological reactions dominating over values and meaningful actions. A lack in valued action is characterized by the absence of activities that are connected to what is personally meaningful. In this secondary analysis, we aim to extend research by examining two subprocesses of psychological inflexibility, experiential avoidance and lack of valued action, as statistical mediators of the relations between weight self-stigma and quality of life/health behavior outcomes. Baseline data from a clinical trial comparing weight loss maintenance interventions in a sample of 194 adults living with overweight or obesity and seeking treatment is analyzed. Results show that greater experiential avoidance and lower valued action were significantly related to lower quality of life and satisfaction with social roles, as well as greater depression, anxiety, and binge eating. Further, results from a parallel mediation analysis indicated that weight self-stigma is indirectly related to anxiety, disinhibited eating, and hunger through the relationship with experiential avoidance and lack of valued action.
Donahue, M.L., Levin, M.E., Olson, K. et al. Examining the role of experiential avoidance and valued action in the negative effects of weight self-stigma. J Behav Med (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10865-022-00378-3