Training response inhibition to food is associated with weight loss and reduced energy intake
Chambers, Christopher D.
Open Access funded by Wellcome Trust under CC-BY Creative Commons Licence.
The majority of adults in the UK and US are overweight or obese due to multiple factors including excess energy intake. Training people to inhibit simple motor responses (key presses) to high-energy density food pictures reduces intake in laboratory studies. We examined whether online response inhibition training reduced real-world food consumption and weight in a community sample of adults who were predominantly overweight or obese (N = 83). Participants were allocated in a randomised, double-blind design to receive four 10-minute sessions of either active or control go/no-go training in which either high-energy density snack foods (active) or non-food stimuli (control) were associated with no-go signals. Participants’ weight, energy intake (calculated from 24-hour food diaries), daily snacking frequency and subjective food evaluations were measured for one week pre- and post-intervention. Participants also provided self-reported weight and monthly snacking frequency at pre-intervention screening, and one month and six months after completing the study. Participants in the active relative to control condition showed significant weight loss, reductions in daily energy intake and a reduction in rated liking of high-energy density (no-go) foods from the pre- to post-intervention week. There were no changes in self-reported daily snacking frequency. At longer-term follow-up, the active group showed significant reductions in self-reported weight at six months, whilst both groups reported significantly less snacking at one- and six-months. Excellent rates of adherence (97%) and positive feedback about the training suggest that this intervention is acceptable and has the potential to improve public health by reducing energy intake and overweight.
National Institute for Health and Research Exeter Clinical Research Facility
European Research Council
Natalia S Lawrence University of Exeter Psychology Exeter Devon EX4 4QG United Kingdom
Accompanying dataset available at: http://hdl.handle.net/10871/17621
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Vol. 95, pp. 17-28
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