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The relationship between dietary restraint and deficits in reasoning about causes of obesity

Husted, Margaret, Seiss, Ellen and Banks, Adrian P. (2019) The relationship between dietary restraint and deficits in reasoning about causes of obesity Psychology & Health, 34 (12). pp. 1504-1522.

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The Relationship Between Dietary Restraint and Deficits in Reasoning about Causes of Obesity.doc - Accepted version Manuscript

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Objective: Increased levels of dietary restraint are associated with deficits on many cognitive tasks. Less is known about how individual differences in restraint influences complex cognition such as reasoning which is the focus of this research.

Design: Two experimental studies are reported. In study 1, participants (n = 158) completed a causal conditional reasoning task with statements about weight-related and general causal relationships. Study 2 replicated and extended study 1. Participants (n = 108) completed a causal conditional reasoning task focusing on behavioural causes of weight change or general statements.

Main outcome measure: Causal conditional reasoning task performance.

Results: In study 1, levels of dietary restraint were negatively associated with reasoning abilities for weight-related statements only. Study 2 replicated the negative association between dietary restraint and reasoning finding the effect in both weight-related, and general, causal judgements.

Conclusion: The novel findings show that individual differences in dietary restraint have a wider relationship with cognition than previously demonstrated. Results tentatively support theoretical explanations of a reduction in cognitive capacity, rather than differences in belief, explaining reasoning deficits. These findings open an interesting avenue for research and might have implications for effective decision making about personal health behaviours, such as food choice.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
Banks, Adrian
Date : October 2019
DOI : 10.1080/08870446.2019.1623890
Copyright Disclaimer : This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Psychology & Health on 04/06/2019, available online:
Uncontrolled Keywords : Reasoning; Food choice; Eating behaviour; Restraint; Obesity education
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 13 Jun 2019 12:45
Last Modified : 05 Jun 2020 02:08

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