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Posts Tagged ‘internal disinhibition

Eat Until Food Is Finished Or TV-Show Is Over?

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It’s the French paradox redux: Why don’t the French get as fat as Americans, considering all the baguettes, wine, cheese, paté and pastries they eat?

Because they use internal cues — such as no longer feeling hungry — to stop eating, tells Wansink reporting a new Cornell study. Americans, on the other hand, tend to use external cues — such as whether their plate is clean, they have run out of their beverage or the TV show they’re watching is over.”Furthermore, we have found that the heavier a person is — French or American — the more they rely on external cues to tell them to stop eating and the less they rely on whether they felt full,” said senior author Brian Wansink, the John S. Dyson Professor of Marketing and director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab in the Department of Applied Economics and Management, now on leave to serve as executive director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion until January 2009.The new study, an analysis of questionnaires from 133 Parisians and 145 Chicagoans about how they decide when to stop eating, is being published in the journal Obesity and is being presented this later month at an the Winter Marketing Educators conference.”Over-relying on external cues to stop eating a meal may prove useful in offering a partial explanation of why body mass index [a calculation based on the relationship of weight to height] varies across people and potentially across cultures,” said co-author Collin Payne, a Cornell postdoctoral researcher. He stressed that further studies should following up with smoking behavior and socio-economic differences as well. “Relying on internal cues for meal cessation, rather than on external cues, may improve eating patterns in the long term. But things are not as easy. This internality or externality of eating cues seems to have oposing effects on bodyweight, depending on where the focus of research rests (see below). The quoted study finds that dieters who have the tendency to eat in response to external factors, such as at festive celebrations, have fewer problems with their weight loss than those who eat in response to emotions (internal factors). Led by researchers at The Miriam Hospital’s Weight Control & Diabetes Research Center, the study also found that emotional eating was associated with weight regain in successful losers. So eating due to external factors and stopping meal in response to internal cues seems the right thing to do. But mind, not being hungry is the only benefic internal cue to stop eating. Who eats in response to emotional problems might well react to internal stimuli, but will be highly unlikely to keep a healthy energy-uptake with his eating habits.

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2007 Dec;15(12):2920-4.
Internal and external cues of meal cessation: the French paradox redux?
Department of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University, 110 Warren Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853-7801, USA. Wansink@Cornell.edu
OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to investigate whether people who use internal cues of satiation when eating a meal are likely to weigh less than people who instead rely on external cues. In addition to exploring the role that internal and external cues play in meal cessation, this study raises an overlooked explanation of the French paradox. RESEARCH METHODS AND PROCEDURES: A demographically-matched student sample of 133 Parisians and 145 Chicagoans completed a brief survey on meal cessation that asked the extent to which they agreed with statements associated with internal cessation cues and statements with external cessation cues. Their answers to these were compared across BMI levels and across countries. RESULTS: Normal-weight people indicated that they were more likely to be influenced by internal cues of meal cessation (p = 0.043), while overweight people indicated that they were more influenced by external cues (p = 0.005). Similarly, while the French were influenced by internal cues of meal cessation (p < 0.001), Americans were more influenced by external cues (p < 0.001). DISCUSSION: This research revisits Schachter’s externality hypothesis and suggests that one’s over-reliance on external cues may prove useful in offering a partial explanation of why BMI might vary across people and potentially across cultures. Relying on internal cues for meal cessation, rather than on external cues, may improve eating patterns over the long term.
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Written by huehueteotl

February 20, 2008 at 1:07 pm

Put On Some Weight Again? What Made You Eat?

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Emotional Eaters Susceptible To Weight Regain

Just in time for the start of the holiday eating season – a new study finds that dieters who have the tendency to eat in response to external factors, such as at festive celebrations, have fewer problems with their weight loss than those who eat in response to emotions (internal factors). Led by researchers at The Miriam Hospital’s Weight Control & Diabetes Research Center, the study also found that emotional eating was associated with weight regain in successful losers.

“We found that the more people report eating in response to thoughts and feelings, such as, ‘when I feel lonely, I console myself by eating,’ the less weight they lost in a behavioral weight loss program. In addition, amongst successful weight losers, those who report emotional eating are more likely to regain,” says lead author Heather Niemeier, Ph.D., of The Miriam Hospital’s Weight Control & Diabetes Research Center and The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

This is important, the authors note, because one of greatest challenges facing the field of obesity treatment remains the problem of weight regain following weight loss.

“Participants in behavioral weight loss programs lose an average of 10 percent of their body weight and these losses are associated with significant health benefits. Unfortunately, the majority of participants return to their baseline weight within three to five years,” Niemeier says.

In this study, researchers analyzed individual’s responses to a questionnaire widely used in obesity research called the Eating Inventory. The Eating Inventory is a clinical tool that is designed to assess three aspects of eating behavior in individuals — cognitive restraint, hunger, and disinhibition.

Specifically, Niemeier and her team focused on the disinhibition component of the Eating Inventory because although past studies have suggested that disinhibition as a whole is an accurate predictor of weight loss, the scale itself includes multiple factors that could independently forecast outcomes.

“The disinhibition scale evaluates impulsive eating in response to emotional, cognitive, or social cues. Our goal was to examine and isolate the factors that make up the disinhibition scale, and then determine if these factors have a specific relationship to weight loss and regain,” says Niemeier.

Participants in the study included two groups of individuals. The first group consisted of 286 overweight men and women who were currently participating in a behavioral weight loss program. The second group included 3,345 members of the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR), an ongoing study of adults who have lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for at least one year.

“By examining these two very different sample groups, we were able to assess the effect of disinhibition on individuals attempting to lose weight, as well as on those who are trying to maintain weight loss,” the authors note.

Upon examination, the researchers found that the components within the disinhibition scale could be grouped into two distinct factors — external and internal disinhibition.

External disinhibition describes experiences that are external to the individual such as, “When I am with someone who is overeating, I usually overeat, too” and “I usually eat too much at social occasions, like parties and picnics”. Internal disinhibition refers to eating in response to thoughts and feelings that are internal to the individual and includes emotional eating such as, “When I feel lonely, I console myself by eating” and “While on a diet, if I eat a food that is not allowed, I often splurge and eat other high calorie foods”.

Results showed that in both groups of participants, internal disinhibition was a significant predictor of weight over time. For participants in the weight loss program, the higher the level of internal disinhibition, the less weight an individual lost over time. The same was true for maintainers in the NWCR in that internal disinhibition predicted weight regain over the first year of registry membership.

“Interestingly, external disinhibition did not predict weight loss or regain in either sample at any time,” notes Niemeier.

In addition, the authors note that internal disinhibition predicted weight change over time above and beyond other psychological issues including depression, binge eating, and perceived stress.

“Our results suggest that we need to pay more attention to eating triggered by emotions or thoughts as they clearly play a significant role in weight loss. Current treatments provide minimal assistance with eating in response to feelings or thoughts,” says Niemeier.

She adds, “Modifying our treatments to address these triggers for unhealthy eating and help patients learn alternative strategies could improve their ability to maintain weight loss behaviors, even in the face of affective and cognitive difficulties.”‘

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2007 Oct;15(10):2485-94.

Internal disinhibition predicts weight regain following weight loss and weight loss maintenance.

Niemeier HM, Phelan S, Fava JL, Wing RR.

The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University/Miriam Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island, USA. heather_niemeier@brown.edu

OBJECTIVE: The disinhibition scale of the Eating Inventory predicts weight loss outcome; however, it may include multiple factors. The purpose of this study was to examine the factor structure of the disinhibition scale and determine how its factors independently relate to long-term weight loss outcomes. RESEARCH METHODS AND PROCEDURES: Exploratory factor analysis of the disinhibition scale was conducted on 286 participants in a behavioral weight loss trial (TRIM), and confirmatory factor analysis was conducted on 3,345 members of the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR), a registry of successful weight loss maintainers. Multivariate regressions were used to examine the relationships between the disinhibition scale factors and weight over time in both samples. RESULTS: Using baseline data from TRIM, two factors were extracted from the disinhibition scale: 1) an “internal” factor that described eating in response to internal cues, such as feelings and thoughts; and 2) an “external” factor that described eating in response to external cues, such as social events. This factor structure was confirmed using confirmatory factor analysis in the NWCR. In TRIM, internal disinhibition significantly predicted weight loss at 6 months (p = 0.03) and marginally significantly predicted weight loss at 18 months (p = 0.06), with higher levels of internal disinhibition at baseline predicting less weight loss; external disinhibition did not predict weight loss at any time-point. In NWCR, internal disinhibition significantly predicted one-year weight change (p = 0.001), while external disinhibition did not. DISCUSSION: These results suggest that it is the disinhibition of eating in response to internal cues that is associated with poorer long-term weight loss outcomes.

Written by huehueteotl

November 12, 2007 at 1:13 pm