Behavioural and psychosocial factors associated with 5-year weight trajectories within the PORTAL Overweight/Obesity Cohort

Stephanie L. Fitzpatrick, Ana G. Rosales, Susan D. Brown, David E. Arterburn, Matthew F. Daley, Michael Horberg, Corinna Koebnick, Caryn Oshiro, Deborah R. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this study was to model weight trajectories over a 5-year time period (2012–2016) and their association with behavioural and psychosocial characteristics and health care–related experiences using data from the Patient Outcomes Research to Advance Learning (PORTAL) overweight/obesity cohort. Methods: Weight trajectories for each eligible patient in the PORTAL overweight/obesity cohort (n = 2864) were identified first using growth modelling; trajectories were then grouped using a hierarchical cluster analysis. Weight trajectory clusters that emerged were compared on demographics, and predictors of cluster membership were examined. Clusters were also compared on responses to a survey assessing health behaviours, quality of life, and health care experience completed in 2015 by 49% of the total sample (n = 1391). Results: Seven distinct weight trajectory clusters were identified: (a) significant weight loss then maintenance; (b) higher stable weight; (c) moderate stable weight; (d) steady weight loss then relapse; (e) weight gain then weight loss; (f) steady weight gain then maintenance; and (g) lower stable weight. Age, sex, race/ethnicity, and body mass index at baseline predicted patient's weight trajectory (P <.001). Over two thirds of patients maintained their weight over the 5-year period. Significant weight loss then maintenance, weight gain then weight loss, and higher stable weight patients were more likely to report receiving weight counselling from their provider. Patients in the significant weight loss then maintenance and lower stable weight clusters were more likely to be physically active than the other clusters. Conclusion: Findings suggest variability in patterns of weight change among adults with overweight or obesity who have access to health care and that these patterns differ on demographic, behavioural and psychosocial factors, and health care experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)272-281
Number of pages10
JournalObesity Science and Practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • health behaviors
  • obesity
  • population health
  • weight trajectories

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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