Determinants of self-regulation in obesity: formation of implicit food preferences
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Social Science Department, University of Warmia and Mazury, Olsztyn, Poland
Social Sciences Department, University of Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland
Experimental Therapeutics and Pathophysiology Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA
Submission date: 2016-06-28
Final revision date: 2016-09-07
Acceptance date: 2016-09-07
Online publication date: 2017-01-31
Publication date: 2017-01-30
Health Psychology Report 2017;5(3):258–262
The objective of this study was to investigate whether motor behavior can impact self-regulation of food intake in individuals with obesity. We utilized purposeful movement of the hand as a means to influence tendencies to approach and avoid foods compatible and incompatible with the weight loss goals.

Participants and procedure
One hundred individuals with obesity (BMI ≥ 30) participated in this study. The participants were randomized into 2 experimental groups. The first experimental group was induced to prefer dietary foods and to avoid fattening foods. The second experimental group was induced to prefer fattening food and to avoid dietary food.
Experimental group 1 chose dietary products and avoided fattening items more often than group 2. We observed the increased importance of goals to lose weight and improve body shape as a result of manipulation consistent with its direction.

Implicit manipulation of food preferences by approach/avoidance tasks can alter food preferences and attitudes.
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