Determinants of (re)lapse in physical activity and dietary behaviors: a systematic review on prospective studies


  • E. Roordink
  • M. van Stralen
  • W. Kroeze
  • L. Schoonmade
  • I. Steenhuis


Background: The majority of people who lose weight experience difficulties in maintaining their weight management behaviors -physical activity and dietary behaviors-, causing weight regain. To prevent these so-called relapses in weight management behaviors, insight into its determinants is needed. According to Marlatt’s cognitive-behavioral model, risk of relapse occurs when individuals come into a so-called high-risk situation and lack effective coping responses. However this model was developed for relapse prevention in drug abstinence, and knowledge on determinants of relapses in weight management behaviors largely lacks. Hence we aim to systematically synthesize the literature on determinants of (re)lapse in dietary behavior and physical activity. Methods: Studies are identified from searches in PubMed, PsycINFO, and CINAHL. We follow guidelines of the PRISMA statement and include prospective studies investigating personal, psychological and environmental determinants of (re)lapse in dietary and physical activity behaviors. We score included articles on their methodological quality and apply a best-evidence synthesis to summarize the results. Expected results: A total of 10.642 articles were found. We expect to identify several personal, psychological and environmental predictors of (re)lapse. These predictors are expected to differ between dietary behavior and physical activity. Current stage of work: We are completing the selection of articles that meet our inclusion criteria, followed by data extraction. Discussion: We propose clear recommendations for preventing (re)lapses in dietary behavior and physical activity. Also, our study will contribute to current health behavior models and the development of a new framework regarding relapse prevention in weight loss maintenance.





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