Attentional avoidance of high-fat food in unsuccessful dieters

E. Veenstra*, P.J. de Jong, E. de Koster, A.J. Roefs

*Corresponding author for this work

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Using the exogenous cueing task, this study examined whether restrained and disinhibited eaters differ in their orientation of attention towards and their difficulty to disengage from high versus low-fat food pictures in a relatively short (500 ms) and a long presentation format (1500 ms). Overall, participants in the 500 ms condition showed a tendency to direct attention away from high-fat food pictures compared to neutral pictures. No differential pattern was evident for the 1500 ms condition. Correlational analysis revealed that reduced engagement with high-fat food was particularly pronounced for disinhibited eaters. Although in the short term this seems an adaptive strategy, it may eventually become counterproductive, as it could hinder habituation and learning to cope with seductive characteristics of high-fat food.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282-288
JournalJournal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010

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