Time orientation and eating behavior. unhealthy eaters consider immediate consequences, while healthy eaters focus on future health

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Time orientation could play an important role in eating behavior. The current study investigated whether eating behavior is associated with the Consideration of Future Consequences scale (CFC). Specifically, it was examined whether unhealthy eaters consider the future less and are more concerned with immediate gratification. A related measure of time orientation is delay discounting, a process by which a reinforcer becomes less valuable when considered later in time. Recent research argues that the relation between time orientation and health behaviors is measured best at a behavior-specific level. In the current study, we explored the relationships between CFC and discount rate - both general and food-specific - and their influence on healthy eating. Participants with ages 18 to 60 (N = 152; final sample N = 146) filled in an online questionnaire consisting of the CFC, a food-specific version of the CFC (CFC-food), the Monetary Choice Questionnaire (MCQ) and an adapted MCQ version with snack food as a reinforcer. Self-reported healthy eating was positively related to the future subscale (r = .48, p < .001) and negatively to the immediate subscale of the CFC-food (r = -.43, p < .001). The general CFC and discount rate (MCQ and MCQ-snack) were not related to healthy eating (all p > .05). In order to predict behavior, measurements of time orientation should thus be tailored to the behavior of interest. Based on current results, shifting one's concern from the immediate consequences of eating to a more future-oriented perspective may present an interesting target for future interventions aimed at promoting healthy eating and reducing overweight.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-19
Number of pages7
JournalAppetite
Volume91
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2015

Keywords

  • BODY-MASS
  • Behavior-specific measurements
  • Consideration of future consequences
  • DELAYED HYPOTHETICAL MONEY
  • DISCOUNTING RATES
  • Delay discounting
  • ENERGY-INTAKE
  • FOOD REINFORCEMENT
  • Healthy eating
  • OBESE WOMEN
  • PERSPECTIVE
  • PHYSICAL-ACTIVITY
  • REWARDS
  • THINKING
  • Time orientation

Research Output

  • 16 Citations
  • 1 Erratum / corrigendum
116 Downloads (Pure)

Cite this