Psychology and Dieting
Peter Kilcoyne
Spec and Exam Question
• Explanations for the success and failure of
dieting
• Discuss explanations for the success and/or...
Video
• Psychology of Weight
Loss
• Discussion : What are
the key messages from
this talk?
Practical Exercise
• Investigate differences between males and females in
awareness and usage of diets
McCreary and Sasse ...
Analysis of Results
• Hypothesis 1
Females will be able to name more weight loss diets
than males
Independent t test
• Hyp...
Theorys on Dieting
• Restraint Theory
• Boundary Theory
• Theory of ironic
processors of Mental
Control
Restraint Theory
Herman and Mack 1985
• Diets often fail because most people find it
impossible to continue restrained eat...
Boundary Model
Herman and Polivy 1983
• Extension of Restraint Theory taking cognitive
factors into account
• e.g. If some...
Herman and Mack (1975)
• Dieters and non Dieters given a high cal or low
cal preload snack
• Then given a “taste test”
• D...
Theory of ironic processors of Mental
Control
Wegner (1994)

• Attempted suppressing
a thought makes you
more likely to th...
Supporting Research
Keys et al (1950) studied 36 non-dieting
conscientious objectors to the Korean War. They
were given ha...
Supporting Research
Wardle and Beales (1988) randomly assigned 27
obese women to either a diet group, an exercise
group or...
Supporting Research
Further support comes from Wegner et al (1987)
who asked participants not to think of a white
bear but...
How effective is dieting?
• Wing and Phelan (2005) 20% of dieters
maintain 10% weight loss over a year (80%
don’t)
• Ayyad...
Factors that increase the success of
dieting
• Rodin et al (1977) importance of
understanding the cause of obesity and
ind...
Weight loss regainers vs Weight loss
maintainers
Ogden and Hills(2008) Maintainers had
• Belief in behavioural model of ob...
Research Task
• Go to google scholar
http://scholar.google.co.uk/
• Search for dieting or weight loss
• Choose a research ...
Essay
Discuss explanations for the success and/or
failure of dieting. (4 marks + 16 marks)
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    1. 1. Psychology and Dieting Peter Kilcoyne
    2. 2. Spec and Exam Question • Explanations for the success and failure of dieting • Discuss explanations for the success and/or failure of dieting. (4 marks + 16 marks) June 12
    3. 3. Video • Psychology of Weight Loss • Discussion : What are the key messages from this talk?
    4. 4. Practical Exercise • Investigate differences between males and females in awareness and usage of diets McCreary and Sasse 2007 young women more likely that young men to be dieting to loose weight. • Hypotheses 1) Females will be more likely to have been on a diet in the last 12 months 2) Females will be able to name more weight loss diets than males • Instructions each student ask one male and one female subject to fill in diet survey
    5. 5. Analysis of Results • Hypothesis 1 Females will be able to name more weight loss diets than males Independent t test • Hypothesis 2 Females will be able to name more weight loss diets than males Chi Square
    6. 6. Theorys on Dieting • Restraint Theory • Boundary Theory • Theory of ironic processors of Mental Control
    7. 7. Restraint Theory Herman and Mack 1985 • Diets often fail because most people find it impossible to continue restrained eating • Restraint followed by disinhibition “eating more as a result of loosening restraints in response to emotional distress, intoxication or preloading” (Herman and Polivy, 1988).
    8. 8. Boundary Model Herman and Polivy 1983 • Extension of Restraint Theory taking cognitive factors into account • e.g. If someone on a diet has a rule of boundaries. “I will not eat any biscuits” amd they break this rule they may then go onto overeat as a response to breaking their boundaries. • Also physiological factors – body has body weight set point, when our weight is lowered homeostatic mechanism kick in to increase weight back to set point.
    9. 9. Herman and Mack (1975) • Dieters and non Dieters given a high cal or low cal preload snack • Then given a “taste test” • Dieters with high preload ate more than low preload dieters • Non dieters with high preload are less than low preload non dieters
    10. 10. Theory of ironic processors of Mental Control Wegner (1994) • Attempted suppressing a thought makes you more likely to think about it. • Dieters in trying to suppress thoughts about food think about it more • Leads to over eating
    11. 11. Supporting Research Keys et al (1950) studied 36 non-dieting conscientious objectors to the Korean War. They were given half their usual daily food intake for 12 weeks and lost 25% of their normal body weight. Keys et al reported that they became obsessed with food and started hoarding or stealing it. Many became depressed and couldn’t concentrate. When they were later allowed to eat freely, many ate continuously and became binge eaters. This suggests that the food restriction caused changes in the participant’s cognitive states so that the restricted food became an obsession.
    12. 12. Supporting Research Wardle and Beales (1988) randomly assigned 27 obese women to either a diet group, an exercise group or a control group (no intervention) for 7 weeks. All participants took part in a laboratory procedure to assess their food intake at weeks 4 and 6. The results indicated that participants in the diet condition ate more than those in the exercise group and also those in the control group. This supports the idea that simply thinking about restricting food (as associated with the word ‘diet’) can cause overeating.
    13. 13. Supporting Research Further support comes from Wegner et al (1987) who asked participants not to think of a white bear but to ring a bell if they did. They found that participants rang the bell more often than participants who were specifically asked to think about a white bear! The same processes occur with dieters as denial of certain foods makes a person more preoccupied with them; something that is forbidden becomes desired.
    14. 14. How effective is dieting? • Wing and Phelan (2005) 20% of dieters maintain 10% weight loss over a year (80% don’t) • Ayyad and Anderson (2000) looked at 17 longitudinal studies average of 15% of dieters maintained weight loss
    15. 15. Factors that increase the success of dieting • Rodin et al (1977) importance of understanding the cause of obesity and individuals motivation for weight loss. • Kiernan et al (1998) being dissatisfied with body shape and placing high value on attractiveness were important factors in successful weight loss. • Ayyad and Anderson (2000) group therapy and behaviour modification improve success
    16. 16. Weight loss regainers vs Weight loss maintainers Ogden and Hills(2008) Maintainers had • Belief in behavioural model of obesity (its what I do not my glands or genetics) • Reduced choice over what and when they eat • New identity as healthy thinner person
    17. 17. Research Task • Go to google scholar http://scholar.google.co.uk/ • Search for dieting or weight loss • Choose a research article that is relevant to todays lesson • Summarise the research article in the “glossary of research” on PKs Moodle course
    18. 18. Essay Discuss explanations for the success and/or failure of dieting. (4 marks + 16 marks)
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