The relationship between impulsivity, weight concern and the yoyo-effect in healthy women


  • Astrid Meesters Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, Maastricht University


Weight cycling, yoyo-effect, impulsivity, weight concern, eating behaviour


Weight cycling, or the so-called yoyo-effect, is an unhealthy aspect of eating behaviour. It is hypothesized that being more impulsive is related to more weight cycling. Furthermore, the yoyo-effect is expected to follow from an interaction between impulsivity and weight concern; high-impulsive, high weight concerned eaters might experience the yoyo-effect to a higher degree than low-impulsive, high weight concerned eaters. In the current study, 214 women aged 25-50 were recruited. Weight cycling, weight concern and two concepts of impulsivity were assessed, namely trait impulsiveness and reward sensitivity. It is found that trait impulsive people and weight concerned people show a higher degree of weight cycling. The results do not reveal an interaction between both aspects of impulsivity and weight concern. This study suggests that impulsivity, as well as weight concern, might play a role in maintaining a healthy body weight and reducing the risks of the yoyo-effect.