Research output

Computerized neurocognitive training for improving dietary health and facilitating weight loss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Associated researcher

  • Forman, E. M.
  • Manasse, S. M.
  • Dallal, D. H.
  • Crochiere, R. J.
  • Loyka, C. M.
  • Butryn, M. L.
  • Juarascio, A. S.
  • Houben, Katrijn

Associated organisations

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.

    Research areas

  • 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
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Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1029-1040
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Behavioral Medicine
Volume42
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019