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Individual and situational predictors of snacking in overweight and obese adults


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Elliston, KG 2015 , 'Individual and situational predictors of snacking in overweight and obese adults', Honours thesis, University of Tasmania.

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The aim of this research was to examine the role of cues in guiding snacking intake in overweight and obese adults. Previous research suggests that internal cues (like negative affect) in conjunction with social (seeing others eating) and external cues (having food available and being in areas of high food outlet density) can predict snacking, but these have rarely been examined in conjunction and never in an overweight/obese sample. Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) was used to collect data from 51 individuals classed as overweight or obese. For 14 days, participants recorded their food and drink intake and responded to questions assessing their mood, and contextual and situational factors. Results support the role of stimulus-control in snacking, with both internal and external influences. Availability of food and social factors were among the strongest predictors of snacking, as was the experience of negative affect, which supports the notion of comfort eating. BMI however, was not found to moderate these effects, nor was it related to snacking frequency, indicating that BMI in itself is not directly related to stimulus-control eating, rather it is an outcome of, rather than a predictor for, the influence of cues on dietary intake.

Item Type: Thesis - Honours
Authors/Creators:Elliston, KG
Keywords: discretionary foods, cue responsiveness, emotional eating, ecological momentary assessment, stimulus control
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Copyright 2015 the author

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