Examining the role of goals and motives for physical activity and eating behaviour in commercial weight-loss program participants
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Background: The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between physical activity and healthy eating behaviour with the participant's motives and goals for each health behaviour. Methods: Participants (N 121; 93.2% female) enrolled in commercial weightloss programs at the time of data collection, completed self-reported instruments using a web-based interface that were in accordance with Deci and Ryan's (2002) Self-Determination Theory (SDT). Results: Multiple linear regression models revealed that motivation and goals collectively accounted for between 0.21 to 0.29 percent and 0.03 to 0.16 percent of the variance in physical and healthy eating behaviours in this sample. In general, goals regarding either behaviour did not appear to have strong predictive relationships with each health behaviour beyond the contributions of motives. Discussion: Overall, findings from this study suggest that motives seem to mattermore than goals for both physical activity and healthy eating behaviour in clientele of commercial weight-loss programs. Therefore commercial weight-loss program implementers may want to consider placing more attention on motives I than goals for their clientele when designing weight-loss and weight-maintenance initiatives.