oa Journal of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes in South Africa - Obesity and dietary behavioural changes : diabetes education

Volume 15, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1608-9677
  • E-ISSN: 2220-1009



Obesity is a multifactorial condition involving genetic, environmental and behavioural factors. For most people wanting to lose weight, little can be done to alter genetics or their environment. What is generally required is a change in behaviour that will result in re-balancing the energy equation. Weight loss is a result of reducing energy input from the diet and increasing energy output through exercise. This simple solution can only be achieved with changing obese people's eating behaviour. To start the process of change, people need to be self-motivated. Behavioural treatment is goal focused, using specific weight loss goals and / or dietary goals which are attainable. Behavioural treatment is also process orientated : it involves helping people to identify which eating behaviours are unhelpful and to plan how to change them. Lastly, behavioural treatment involves implementing a sequence of small dietary changes rather than one large change. It is based on the principle that successfully making small changes leads to the successful achievement of long-term goals.

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