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Retraining automatic action tendencies in obesity

MPG-Autoren
http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons199142

Mehl,  Nora
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
MaxNetAging Research School, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany;

Mueller-Wieland,  Lara
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons22901

Mathar,  David
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Integrated Research and Treatment Center Adiposity Diseases, University of Leipzig;
Department of Psychology, University of Cologne, Germany;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons19734

Horstmann,  Annette
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Integrated Research and Treatment Center Adiposity Diseases, University of Leipzig;
Collaborative Research Center Obesity Mechanisms, Institute of Biochemistry, University of Leipzig, Germany;

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Zitation

Mehl, N., Mueller-Wieland, L., Mathar, D., & Horstmann, A. (2018). Retraining automatic action tendencies in obesity. Physiology & Behavior. doi:10.1016/j.physbeh.2018.03.031.


Zitierlink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-217C-F
Zusammenfassung
Eating behavior in obesity resembles addictive disorders in that individuals have difficulties inhibiting problematic eating behavior. They show an approach bias – a tendency to approach rather than avoid problematic stimuli. Here, we investigate the existence of such a bias towards healthy and unhealthy food in individuals with normal-weight and obesity. We further aimed to assess whether it is possible to retrain a bias, and whether training would differentially affect our two weight groups. 60 participants completed a training form of the Approach-Avoidance Task (AAT) on three consecutive days. Using a joystick, they were implicitly trained to approach healthy and to avoid unhealthy food pictures. Prior to training, individuals with obesity showed stronger approach tendencies towards food pictures than normal-weight individuals. In individuals with obesity, approach tendencies could be diminished for unhealthy food through one training session and stayed weakened for the following days. In normal-weight participants, approach tendencies towards healthy food could be enhanced over the days of training. Findings indicate that automatic approach tendencies can be changed through training, thus offering possibilities for obesity treatment. Future studies should expand on these findings, for example by including pictures of neutral objects or a no-training control condition.