Self-regulatory Theory and Weight-Loss Maintenance
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We examined the relationships between promotion and prevention focus and caloric consumption in reaction to a dietary lapse scenario among weight loss maintainers. Participants were 65 adult females who had attained and maintained a weight loss of 10 % or more for at least 1 month. After engaging in a dietary lapse in a feeding laboratory, participants completed a “bogus” taste test, during which they could consume as much food as they liked. It was hypothesized that promotion and prevention focus would predict caloric consumption, mediated by depressive and anxious affect. Prevention focus, but not promotion focus, was positively associated with proportion of daily calories consumed. Affect was not a mediator. Prevention focus may be deleterious for dietary maintenance following dietary lapses. Theoretical and clinical implications are discussed in light of prior research. Limitations of the study and recommendations for future research also are presented.
KeywordsEating behavior Self-regulation Obesity Decision making Diet
This research was supported in part by the Center for Obesity Research and Education at Temple University. The authors wish to thank Dr. Gary Foster for his valuable guidance regarding study design and implementation.
Conflict of interest
Rylan Jay Testa, Ph.D. and Ronald T. Brown, Ph.D. declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation of Temple University’s Institutional Review Board and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000. Informed consent was obtained from all participants for being included in the study.
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