Self-Reported Body Weight Changes, Perceptions, and Weight Loss Techniques among Stroke Survivors

Jessica L. Kelleher, Paul Weiss, Amy D. Rodriguez, Joe R. Nocera, Monica C. Serra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Little is known about the body weight goals and trends of stroke survivors, despite evidence that overweight and obesity can negatively influence poststroke rehabilitation outcomes. Thus, the purpose of this study was to identify self-reported body weight trends over time in stroke survivors and nonstroke controls (>50 years old) and describe the methods used to attempt to achieve body weight goals. Methods: Self-reported body weight 1) at age 25 years, 2) 10 years prior to the current assessment, 3) 1 year prior to the current assessment, 4) current weight, and 5) age of heaviest body weight were collected from adults self-reporting a stroke in the 2011-2012 and 2013-2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (stroke: N = 387 and nonstroke: N = 5085). Questionnaires were used to assess body weight goals and weight loss techniques during the previous year. Results: Of the stroke survivors, 54% reported that their heaviest weight occurred after their stroke. Approximately 70% of stroke and nonstroke were overweight or obese. Only 24% of stroke survivors reported trying to lose weight compared with 35% of nonstroke, with only 10%-15% successful (≥5% body weight loss), during the past year. Popular weight loss methods in both groups included eating less, exercising, and eating more fruits/vegetables. The majority of stroke survivors report their heaviest weight after their stroke and a desire to weigh less; however, few report successful weight loss. Conclusions: Future research is needed to identify optimal body weight and ways to incorporate preferred methods of lifestyle modification, including diet and exercise, to promote weight management in stroke survivors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1317-1322
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Body weight trends
  • obesity
  • stroke survivor
  • weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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