Stop overeating: The effect of training inhibition on eating behavior

  • A.E.M. Hendriks


More and more people in the world are getting fatter and are having trouble to lose weight. When people lack inhibitory control, they are more prone to indulge in highcaloric food. In this study, the effect of training inhibitory control on eating behavior was investigated. Expected was that inhibition training would increase inhibition ability and would lead to less food intake. To investigate the effect of training inhibitory control on eating behavior, participants were divided into three training conditions: The first group of participants had to inhibit a response for neutral stimuli and only responded to foodrelated stimuli, the second group consistently responded to neutral stimuli and inhibited a response for food-related stimuli. The third group never inhibited a response. Food intake was measured using a food diary and a taste test. The Restraint scale was used to measure restrained eating behavior, which could have influenced the results of the study. Results showed that the three groups of participants in the different training conditions did not differ significantly after the training on inhibitory control and food-intake. In conclusion, the inhibition training did not have an effect on inhibitory control neither on the food intake of the participants. A possible explanation for the lack of effect of the training could be that using non-specific food pictures and not consistently having to stop for a food item does not lead to better inhibitory control concerning food, because no association will then be learned between the stopping goal and different kinds of food.


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