Training cognitive control: the role of executive functioning in eating behavior and weight loss

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

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Cognitive control over (eating) behavior is based on executive functions, an umbrella term for cognitive processes such as working memory, inhibition and cognitive flexibility. We examined whether executive functions play a role in eating behavior and weight loss, and whether these functions can be trained in order to prevent overeating. Our study results show that unhealthy eaters do not think about the long-term consequences of their current eating behavior. The results also indicate that people with obesity show poorer inhibitory control abilities, and that a better working memory in particular predicts a greater extent of weight loss during multidisciplinary treatment. However, the results regarding effectiveness of executive functioning training as an intervention for weight loss were not univocal.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Jansen, Anita, Supervisor
  • Houben, Katrijn, Co-Supervisor
  • Nederkoorn, Sjaan, Co-Supervisor
Award date11 Jul 2018
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs9789463750066
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • eating behavior
  • obesity
  • executive functioning
  • cognitive control
  • weight loss
  • intervention

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