Computerized neurocognitive training for improving dietary health and facilitating weight loss

Evan M. Forman*, Stephanie M. Manasse, Diane H. Dallal, Rebecca. J. Crochiere, Caitlin M. Loyka, Meghan L. Butryn, Adrienne S. Juarascio, Katrijn Houben

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Nearly 70% of Americans are overweight, in large part because of overconsumption of high-calorie foods such as sweets. Reducing sweets is difficult because powerful drives toward reward overwhelm inhibitory control (i.e., the ability to withhold a prepotent response) capacities. Computerized inhibitory control trainings (ICTs) have shown positive outcomes, but impact on real-world health behavior has been variable, potentially because of limitations inherent in existing paradigms, e.g., low in frequency, intrinsic enjoyment, personalization, and ability to adapt to increasing ability. The present study aimed to assess the feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy of a gamified and non-gamified, daily, personalized, and adaptive ICT designed to facilitate weight loss by targeting consumption of sweets. Participants (N = 106) were randomized to one of four conditions in a 2 (gamified vs. non-gamified) by 2 (ICT vs. sham) factorial design. Participants were prescribed a no-added-sugar diet and completed 42 daily, at-home trainings, followed by two weekly booster trainings. Results indicated that the ICTs were feasible and acceptable. Surprisingly, compliance to the 44 trainings was excellent (88.8%) and equivalent across both gamified and non-gamified conditions. As hypothesized, the impact of ICT on weight loss was moderated by implicit preference for sweet foods [F(1,95) = 6.17, p = .02] such that only those with higher-than-average implicit preference benefited (8-week weight losses for ICT were 3.1% vs. 2.2% for sham). A marginally significant effect was observed for gamification to reduce the impact of ICT. Implications of findings for continued development of ICTs to impact health behavior are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1029-1040
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Behavioral Medicine
Volume42
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

Keywords

  • Inhibitory control training
  • Health behavior
  • Diet
  • Obesity
  • Weight loss
  • Gamification
  • IMPLICIT ASSOCIATION TEST
  • PREDICTIVE-VALIDITY
  • RESPONSE-INHIBITION
  • EATING BEHAVIOR
  • VIDEO GAME
  • FOOD
  • OVERWEIGHT
  • OBESITY
  • SUGAR
  • STOP

Cite this

Forman, E. M., Manasse, S. M., Dallal, D. H., Crochiere, R. J., Loyka, C. M., Butryn, M. L., ... Houben, K. (2019). Computerized neurocognitive training for improving dietary health and facilitating weight loss. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 42(6), 1029-1040. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10865-019-00024-5
Forman, Evan M. ; Manasse, Stephanie M. ; Dallal, Diane H. ; Crochiere, Rebecca. J. ; Loyka, Caitlin M. ; Butryn, Meghan L. ; Juarascio, Adrienne S. ; Houben, Katrijn. / Computerized neurocognitive training for improving dietary health and facilitating weight loss. In: Journal of Behavioral Medicine. 2019 ; Vol. 42, No. 6. pp. 1029-1040.
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abstract = "Nearly 70{\%} of Americans are overweight, in large part because of overconsumption of high-calorie foods such as sweets. Reducing sweets is difficult because powerful drives toward reward overwhelm inhibitory control (i.e., the ability to withhold a prepotent response) capacities. Computerized inhibitory control trainings (ICTs) have shown positive outcomes, but impact on real-world health behavior has been variable, potentially because of limitations inherent in existing paradigms, e.g., low in frequency, intrinsic enjoyment, personalization, and ability to adapt to increasing ability. The present study aimed to assess the feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy of a gamified and non-gamified, daily, personalized, and adaptive ICT designed to facilitate weight loss by targeting consumption of sweets. Participants (N = 106) were randomized to one of four conditions in a 2 (gamified vs. non-gamified) by 2 (ICT vs. sham) factorial design. Participants were prescribed a no-added-sugar diet and completed 42 daily, at-home trainings, followed by two weekly booster trainings. Results indicated that the ICTs were feasible and acceptable. Surprisingly, compliance to the 44 trainings was excellent (88.8{\%}) and equivalent across both gamified and non-gamified conditions. As hypothesized, the impact of ICT on weight loss was moderated by implicit preference for sweet foods [F(1,95) = 6.17, p = .02] such that only those with higher-than-average implicit preference benefited (8-week weight losses for ICT were 3.1{\%} vs. 2.2{\%} for sham). A marginally significant effect was observed for gamification to reduce the impact of ICT. Implications of findings for continued development of ICTs to impact health behavior are discussed.",
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Forman, EM, Manasse, SM, Dallal, DH, Crochiere, RJ, Loyka, CM, Butryn, ML, Juarascio, AS & Houben, K 2019, 'Computerized neurocognitive training for improving dietary health and facilitating weight loss', Journal of Behavioral Medicine, vol. 42, no. 6, pp. 1029-1040. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10865-019-00024-5

Computerized neurocognitive training for improving dietary health and facilitating weight loss. / Forman, Evan M.; Manasse, Stephanie M.; Dallal, Diane H.; Crochiere, Rebecca. J.; Loyka, Caitlin M.; Butryn, Meghan L.; Juarascio, Adrienne S.; Houben, Katrijn.

In: Journal of Behavioral Medicine, Vol. 42, No. 6, 12.2019, p. 1029-1040.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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T1 - Computerized neurocognitive training for improving dietary health and facilitating weight loss

AU - Forman, Evan M.

AU - Manasse, Stephanie M.

AU - Dallal, Diane H.

AU - Crochiere, Rebecca. J.

AU - Loyka, Caitlin M.

AU - Butryn, Meghan L.

AU - Juarascio, Adrienne S.

AU - Houben, Katrijn

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AB - Nearly 70% of Americans are overweight, in large part because of overconsumption of high-calorie foods such as sweets. Reducing sweets is difficult because powerful drives toward reward overwhelm inhibitory control (i.e., the ability to withhold a prepotent response) capacities. Computerized inhibitory control trainings (ICTs) have shown positive outcomes, but impact on real-world health behavior has been variable, potentially because of limitations inherent in existing paradigms, e.g., low in frequency, intrinsic enjoyment, personalization, and ability to adapt to increasing ability. The present study aimed to assess the feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy of a gamified and non-gamified, daily, personalized, and adaptive ICT designed to facilitate weight loss by targeting consumption of sweets. Participants (N = 106) were randomized to one of four conditions in a 2 (gamified vs. non-gamified) by 2 (ICT vs. sham) factorial design. Participants were prescribed a no-added-sugar diet and completed 42 daily, at-home trainings, followed by two weekly booster trainings. Results indicated that the ICTs were feasible and acceptable. Surprisingly, compliance to the 44 trainings was excellent (88.8%) and equivalent across both gamified and non-gamified conditions. As hypothesized, the impact of ICT on weight loss was moderated by implicit preference for sweet foods [F(1,95) = 6.17, p = .02] such that only those with higher-than-average implicit preference benefited (8-week weight losses for ICT were 3.1% vs. 2.2% for sham). A marginally significant effect was observed for gamification to reduce the impact of ICT. Implications of findings for continued development of ICTs to impact health behavior are discussed.

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KW - Health behavior

KW - Diet

KW - Obesity

KW - Weight loss

KW - Gamification

KW - IMPLICIT ASSOCIATION TEST

KW - PREDICTIVE-VALIDITY

KW - RESPONSE-INHIBITION

KW - EATING BEHAVIOR

KW - VIDEO GAME

KW - FOOD

KW - OVERWEIGHT

KW - OBESITY

KW - SUGAR

KW - STOP

U2 - 10.1007/s10865-019-00024-5

DO - 10.1007/s10865-019-00024-5

M3 - Article

VL - 42

SP - 1029

EP - 1040

JO - Journal of Behavioral Medicine

JF - Journal of Behavioral Medicine

SN - 0160-7715

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ER -