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SUCCESS & FAILURE OF DIETING

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Livvy Foster

on 3 November 2013

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Transcript of SUCCESS & FAILURE OF DIETING

SUCCESS & FAILURE OF DIETING
EXPLANATIONS OF THE IMPACT OF DIETING
The Boundary Model
Herman and Polivy (1984) - hunger keeps foot intake above a certain minimum & satiety below a maximum
Psychological factors have the greatest impact on consumption between these
Dieters - larger range between hunger and satiety, takes longer to feel hungry & more food to satisfy
Restrained eaters - self-imposed desired intake, once over boundary, continue to eat until they reach satiety, beyond maximum level imposed by their diet
Wardle & Beales (1988)
Randomly assigned 27 obese women to diet group, exercise group or non-treatment group for 7 weeks
4 weeks, food intake assessed before and after a small snack
6 weeks, intake assessed under stressful conditions
Results - showed that women under the diet conditions ate more than the other two groups
Supports restraint theory
Limited Relevance
RT proposes association between food restriction and overeating
Ogden (2007) - theory doesn't explain restricting behaviour of anorexics
If trying not to eat results in overeating, how can anorexics starve themselves?
Implications of Obesity Treatment
Suggests restrain leads to excess, but obesity treatment often involves restraint as solution
Failed attempts are diet - leave obese people depressed, feeling failure & unable to control their weight gain
Obesity may not cause overeating, overeating consequence of obesity if restraint treatment used
ROLE OF DENIAL
The Restraint Theory
89% of female's in the UK restrain their food intake at some point - Klesges et al (1987)
Theory developed to explain causes and consequences with the cognitive restriction of food intake - Herman and Mack (1975)
Attempting not to eat actually increases the likelihood of overeating
Experiment carried out to test prediction, showed overeating in many dieters actually caused by attempts to diet - Wardle and Beales (1988)
Cognitive psychology research - attempting to deny / suppress thought frequently has opposite effect
Wegner et al. (1987) - 2 groups, one told not to think about a white bear, the other group told to, ring a bell if they thought about it
Results - those told not to think about the bear rang bell more often than other group
THEORY OF IRONIC PROCESSES OF MENTAL CONTROL
Wegner et al. - 2 groups, one told not to think about a white
In terms of dieting, decide not to eat / eat less of certain foods, actually increases persons preoccupation with them
Therefore, as soon as food becomes denied, appears more attractive
Research Support
Soetens et al. (2006) - divided into restrained & unrestrained eaters - subdivided into those high or low disinhibition (reduced control over own behaviour)
Disinhibited restrained group - those who tried to eat less but often overate used more thought suppression & showed a rebound effect after
Showed - restrained eaters who tend to overeat, suppress thoughts about food more often, think more about it after
Limited Experimental Effects
Wegner (1994) - ironic affects observed in research not huge, detectable, not overwhelming
But effects may underlie more serious pathological forms of eating behaviour, influence could be overwhelming in terms of everyday human cost
SUCCESSFUL DIETING
Redden (2008) - success due to attention paid to what's being eaten
Claims - people usually like experiences less when they repeat them - dieting repetitive, makes it harder to stick to regime
Should think about the details of the meal - bored less easily, able to maintain diet
Jelly Bean Experiment
135 people given 22 jelly beans each, one at a time - as bean dispensed, info about it flashed on screen
One group - general info
Other - specific flavour
Findings - participants got bored faster if they saw general info, flavour group - enjoyed task more
Anti-Dieting Programmes
Replace dieting with conventional healthy eating - due to concerns about ineffective / damaging effects of dieting
Programmes emphasise regulation by body hunger and satiety signals & prevention of inappropriate attitudes to food
Higgins & Gray (1999) - meta-analysis - participation in programmes associated with improvements in eating behaviour & psychological wellbeing, and with weight stability rather than weight change
More Evaluations
Free Will or Determinism?
Genetic mechanisms exert influence on weight, factors other than person's lifestyle
Kern et al. (1990) - study on LPL (lipoprotein lipase) levels - determined by a gene, enzyme produced by fat cells to help store calories as fat, easier to regain lost weight
Findings - LPL levels rose after weight loss & fatter the person was to start with, higher the LPL levels
Researchers believe weight loss activated gene producing LPL, why it's easier for dieter to lose weight than someone who's never been obese to gain it
Limitations of Anecdotal Evidence
Many studies rely on personal accounts of individuals, often used to justify claims concerning dieting strategies
Problems - memory not 100% accurate & success / failure of dieting not completely objective
Therefore problems with reliability of evidence
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