Self‐help dieting strategies in college males and females

Robert C. Klesges, J. Scott Mizes, Lisa M. Klesges

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


The present study sought to determine the self‐help dieting strategies used by college men and women. There were 204 adults (102 males, 102 females) asked (1) the degree of importance placed on achieving and maintaining their ideal weight, (2) the reasons (i. e., health, appearance, or psychological) for dieting, and (3) the specific types of food restriction and physical activity methods used. Results indicated that females were much more likely to have actively dieted during the past 6 months and were more likely to see a discrepancy between their real and ideal weight. Furthermore, females placed a much higher importance on the appearance benefits of maintaining an ideal weight. Females were much more likely to engage in physical activity strategies (both appropriate and inappropriate) primarily for weight reduction than males. Similarly, females were much more likely to engage in both dangerous and safe food restriction strategies than males. The results are discussed, and implications for future research are offered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-417
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1987


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