Comfort or Cued Consumption? The Role of Negative Mood, Food Cues and Impulsive Personality as Determinants of Appetite

Bothma, Anerike (2014). Comfort or Cued Consumption? The Role of Negative Mood, Food Cues and Impulsive Personality as Determinants of Appetite Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Bothma, Anerike
Thesis Title Comfort or Cued Consumption? The Role of Negative Mood, Food Cues and Impulsive Personality as Determinants of Appetite
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2014-10-08
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Dr. Natalie Loxton
Total pages 96
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary The current food environment, characterised by an abundance of cues signalling the availability of high-calorie foods, is a major contributor to the growing prevalence of obesity across the globe. Despite having the same access to foods, some individuals are more likely to overeat in response to these cues than others. At present, negative mood is largely considered an important factor associated with overeating and weight gain. However, empirical evidence has often conflated the effects negative mood with those attributable to food cues. The aim of the current research was (a) to experimentally disentangle the effects of negative mood and food cues on the urge to eat; and (b) to assess whether individual differences in impulsivity moderate these effects. One hundred and seventy-six female participants were assigned to a negative or neutral mood induction procedure, and exposed to either food or non-food cues. The order of presentation was counterbalanced between groups, such that participants either received the cue exposure followed by the mood induction, or the mood induction followed by the cue exposure. Participants reported their urge to eat at baseline, following the mood induction procedure, and following cue presentation. Measures of impulsive personality, including reward sensitivity and negative urgency were also completed. Contrary to contemporary views, participants in the negative mood condition reported a reduction in their urge to eat following the mood induction procedure. Further, there was no evidence that negative mood served to exacerbate the effects of subsequent food cues. However, it was exposure to food cues that saw a marked increase in participants urge to eat. Contrary to expectations, these effects were not influenced by impulsivity. These findings suggest that it is exposure to food cues rather than negative mood that may be the more proximal precipitant of overeating. The implications of these findings will be discussed with healthcare policymakers in mind.
Keyword Food environment
High-calorie foods
Obesity
Overeating

 
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Created: Thu, 23 Apr 2015, 15:59:01 EST by Louise Grainger on behalf of School of Psychology