While the Weight Efficacy Lifestyle Questionnaire (WEL) shows promise as a measure of self-efficacy for eating control, there is a lack of research examining the psychometric properties of this measure with ethnic minorities. The current study examined the WEL with a sample of 144 overweight and obese African American females. Analyses indicated similar self-efficacy levels compared to predominantly Caucasian samples. Supporting the validity of the WEL, participants undergoing obesity treatment demonstrated modest improvement in WEL scores, while standard care participants showed no changes in self-efficacy over time. Factor analysis indicated a four-factor structure rather than the five factors previously found. The four-factor structure accounted for 61.85% of the variance. Results indicate the WEL may be a valid measure of self-efficacy for overweight and obese African American women, although researchers should be mindful of the variation in scale properties when using the WEL with this population. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.