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Title: Food cravings in people engaged in weight management
Author: Smithson, Emilie Frances
ISNI:       0000 0004 5356 2058
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2014
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The relationship between dieting and food cravings has been studied extensively; however, due to varied methodology, questionnaire measures and construct definitions, the evidence is conflicting. The present study was conducted in order to investigate the relationship between cravings, dieting and weight loss using a craving specific measure and gathering data at two different time points during active weight management. A large national sample of individuals (N=2932) enrolled in a commercial weight loss organisation completed two questionnaires approximately seven weeks apart. Information was collected on craving experiences, mood, restraint and weight change. Cross-sectional analysis found those ‘dieting to lose weight’ reported significantly fewer, less intense and more easily controlled food cravings than those ‘watching their weight’. In longitudinal analyses, there was a significant reduction in cravings that could not be accounted for by change in mood or dietary restraint. Frequency of ‘eating in response to food cravings’ at Time 1 explained 7.1% of the variance in overall weight change, such that those more likely to eat in response to food cravings lost less weight over the period of observation. A significant positive relationship was observed between weight loss and participants’ sense of control over their food cravings. Clinical implications draw attention to the contribution of momentary self-regulatory inhibition when explaining the variance in weight loss, and the reciprocal relationship between perceived control of cravings and weight regulation. The potential benefit of incorporating psychological strategies into weight-loss programmes to help support individuals struggling to cope with food cravings is discussed.
Supervisor: Hill, A. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available