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Advances in Preventive Medicine
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 514271, 6 pages
Research Article

Relationship of Exercise Volume with Change in Depression and Its Association with Self-Efficacy to Control Emotional Eating in Severely Obese Women

Department of Wellness, YMCA of Metropolitan Atlanta, 100 Edgewood Avenue NE, Suite 1100 Atlanta, GA 30303, USA

Received 14 October 2010; Accepted 18 January 2011

Academic Editor: John Iskander

Copyright © 2011 James J. Annesi and Linda L. Vaughn. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Exercise may improve one's perceived ability to control overeating related to negative emotions through psychological pathways such as reduced depression; however, the volume required is unclear. Methods. Severely obese women ( 𝑁 = 8 8 ) participated in a 24-week exercise and nutrition treatment incorporating self-regulatory skills training, and were assessed on depression, self-efficacy, self-regulatory skills usage, weight, and waist circumference, at baseline and treatment end. Results. Subjects completing low-moderate (40–149.9 minutes/week) and public health (≥150 minutes/week) volumes of exercise had significant and similar reductions in depression scores. No significant changes were found for those completing <40 minutes/week. For all subjects aggregated, depression change was significantly related to change in self-efficacy to control emotional eating; however, this relationship was completely mediated by changes in self-regulatory skill usage. When changes in depression, self-efficacy, and self-regulatory skills usage were entered into multiple regression equations as predictors, only self-regulatory skill changes explained significant unique portions of the overall variance in weight and weight circumference change. Discussion. Exercise of less than half the public health recommendation was associated with depression improvement, with no dose-response effect. Changes in depression, self-efficacy, and self-regulation may be salient variables to account for in behavioral weight-loss treatment research.