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Effects of chocolate deprivation on implicit and explicit evaluation of chocolate in high and low trait chocolate cravers
VerfasserRichard, Anna ; Meule, Adrian ; Friese, Malte ; Blechert, Jens
Erschienen in
Frontiers in Psychology, Lausanne, 2017, Jg. 2017, S. 1-11
ErschienenFrontiers, 2017
SpracheEnglisch
DokumenttypAufsatz in einer Zeitschrift
Schlagwörter (EN)hedonic deprivation / food craving / chocolate / dieting / implicit preferences / Single Category Implicit Association Test / Affect Misattribution Procedure
ISSN1664-1078
URNurn:nbn:at:at-ubs:3-6620 Persistent Identifier (URN)
DOI10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01591 
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Effects of chocolate deprivation on implicit and explicit evaluation of chocolate in high and low trait chocolate cravers [0.47 mb]
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Diet failures are often attributed to an increase in cravings for attractive foods. However, accumulating evidence shows that food cravings actually decrease during energy-restricting weight-loss interventions. The current study aimed at elucidating possible mechanisms that may explain how and under which circumstances food cravings in- or decrease during dieting. Specifically, decreases in food cravings during weight-loss diets may be due to effects of energy restriction (homeostatic changes) and to effects of avoiding specific foods (hedonic changes). Thus, we used a selective, hedonic deprivation (i.e., restricting intake of a specific food in the absence of an energy deficit) that precludes homeostatic changes due to energy restriction. Furthermore, interindividual differences in food craving experiences might affect why some individuals are more prone to experience cravings during dieting than others. Thus, we investigated whether a selective deprivation of chocolate would in- or decrease craving and implicit preference for chocolate as a function of trait-level differences in chocolate craving. Participants with high and low trait chocolate craving (HC, LC) refrained from consuming chocolate for 2 weeks but otherwise maintained their usual food intake. Both groups underwent laboratory assessments before and after deprivation, each including explicit (i.e., state chocolate craving) and implicit measures (i.e., Single Category Implicit Association Test, SC-IAT; Affect Misattribution Procedure, AMP). Results showed that hedonic deprivation increased state chocolate craving in HCs only. HCs also showed more positive implicit attitudes toward chocolate than LCs on the SC-IAT and the AMP irrespective of deprivation. Results help to disambiguate previous studies on the effects of dieting on food cravings. Specifically, while previous studies showed that energy-restricting diets appear to decrease food cravings, the current study showed that a selective, hedonic deprivation in the absence of an energy deficit increases food cravings. However, this effect can only be observed for individuals with high trait craving levels. Thus, if attractive foods are strictly avoided through a selective deprivation, HCs are at risk to experience craving bouts in the absence of an energy deficit. As implicit preference was unaffected by chocolate deprivation, strong implicit preference for chocolate likely characterize a stable mechanism that drives consumption in HCs.

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