OBJECTIVE: This study tested the role of habituation of eating desires and violation of overeating expectancies during food cue exposure in obese women.
METHOD: 52 obese females were randomised into a two-session exposure condition aimed at habituation, a two-session exposure condition aimed at expectancy violation, or a no-treatment control condition. Eating in the absence of hunger of foods included during cue exposure (i.e., exposed foods) and foods not included during cue exposure (i.e., non-exposed foods), and duration of exposure were measured.
RESULTS: Both cue exposure conditions ate significantly less of the exposed foods compared to the control condition, though there were no differences between both types of exposure. No differences were found between conditions regarding the eating of non-exposed foods. In addition, the duration of exposure was not different between both cue exposure conditions.
CONCLUSIONS: While food cue exposure in obese women led to less eating of exposed foods, focusing on either habituation of eating desires or expectancy violation did not matter. It is discussed why exposure works.
- Journal Article