New Study Validates Six Factor Quiz as Targeted Weight Management Tool

When I set out to develop an assessment tool for people struggling with excess weight and the clinicians who treat them, I wanted to develop a tool that was quick to complete and easy to use.

This tool had to also address how to help people pinpoint which lifestyle habits they need to change to get the most bang for their buck in improving their health.

At the same time, we know that not all clinicians have the time to take a detailed weight-focused history to identify each person’s lifestyle and mindset struggles that impact weight.

I’m proud to share that my article, Using psycho-behavioral phenotyping for overweight and obesity: Confirmation of the 6 factor questionnaire, validating my Six Factor Quiz, was just published in Obesity Science and Practice.

Phenotyping, which means categorizing people according to a set of characteristics, such as traits, habits, attitudes or physical features, is an exciting new area in obesity care that reinforces how one size does not fit all when it comes to helping individuals manage weight.

If you’re someone who struggles with excess weight or if you’re a health care provider who treats those who do, here are some key takeaways from this study:

1-The Six Factor Quiz was Developed for Both Patients and Providers

  • to provide personalized care to those who struggle with excess weight and want a more tailored, self-directed approach to weight loss
  • to offer busy clinicians an effective and efficient lifestyle modification counseling approach to help patients better manage excess weight

2-This Study Demonstrates Highly Significant Correlations Between the following Six Factors and Body Weight in a Large, Diverse Adult Population of Over 5000 Individuals Who Took the Six Factor Quiz Online

The study compared the presence of the six factors between individuals who had a healthy body weight versus those who were overweight or had obesity.

  • Convenient Diner
  • Easily-Enticed Eater
  • Exercise Struggler
  • Fast Pacer
  • Self-Critic
  • All-or-Nothing Doer

These six distinct factors that emerged from my research reflect the most important features of lifestyle and self-identity that are linked to being overweight.

Because long term weight loss is about more than just following a diet and exercise plan, the six factors focus not only on what people eat and how active they are but also on why and when they eat and how they cope with stress, handle emotions and approach life’s challenges.

A personalized weight management program, based on these factors, is outlined in my self-help book, Six Factors to Fit: Weight Loss that Works for You!

3-The Six Factor Quiz Supports Patient-Centered Care and Psycho-behavioral Segmentation to Facilitate Improved Health Behavior Change

  • Patient-centered care means providing care that is consistent with the values, needs and desires of patients and is achieved when clinicians involve patients in health care discussions and decisions.
    • Eliciting the personal habits, attitude and emotions of the patient and developing a treatment plan based on these reflections is one of the primary goals of the Six Factor Quiz
  • Psycho-behavioral segmentation – or segmenting on the basis of what patients do, think and believe – helps allow for personalized and targeted counseling.
    • Through segmentation, the Six Factor Quiz was designed to help individuals zero in on their particular lifestyle factors impeding weight loss.

As an obesity medicine clinician, researcher and advocate, I am thrilled to be able to share my recent published study with anyone looking for a new approach to targeted lifestyle modification for weight management.


Robert Kushner, MD

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