Self-reported physical activity among South Carolina adults trying to maintain or lose weight

Diana L. Lattimore, Heather R. Bowles, Karen A. Kirtland, Steven P. Hooker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Objectives: The obesity epidemic is related to widespread physical inactivity in the United States. This study determined the proportion of South Carolinians trying to maintain or lose weight and within that subpopulation, the number who practiced a restricted diet and engaged in physical activity. Methods: Data from the 2002 South Carolina Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey were used to classify adults who were trying to maintain weight or lose weight. Self-reported prevalence of restricted diet and participation in physical activity were investigated. Of those who reported weight control practices, levels of physical activity were analyzed to determine if those trying to maintain weight or lose weight were meeting the national guidelines for moderate or vigorous physical activity. Results: More than 70% of South Carolina adults reported trying to control their weight and the majority reported using physical activity for weight control. Though the majority reported use of restricted diet and physical activity, more than one-half of those individuals did not meet the minimum standards for physical activity designed for heart health. Conclusions: Although most adults who are trying to maintain or lose weight are participating in physical activity, public health efforts need to focus on encouraging these adults to increase their levels of physical activity to meet the minimum standards for health benefits. Health care providers have an opportunity to educate and encourage patients about the recommended levels of physical activity to obtain maximum health benefits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-22
Number of pages4
JournalSouthern Medical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2005
Externally publishedYes



  • National recommendations
  • Physical activity
  • Weight loss
  • Weight maintenance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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