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01-08-2012 | Original Article | Uitgave 4/2012

Cognitive Therapy and Research 4/2012

Cognitive Distortions in Normal-Weight and Overweight Women: Susceptibility to Thought-Shape Fusion

Cognitive Therapy and Research > Uitgave 4/2012
Jennifer S. Coelho, Anita Jansen, Martine Bouvard
Belangrijke opmerkingen
The author Jennifer S. Coelho moved to the University of Savoie during the course of this research.


Cognitive distortions may be implicated in difficulties with normalized eating. One specific distortion relevant to eating pathology is “thought-shape fusion” (TSF), in which just imagining eating high-caloric food leads individuals to feel fatter, and to perceive weight gain and moral wrong-doing. The current study investigated whether there are differential responses to TSF inductions in normal-weight versus overweight females. A total of 60 females participated, who were classified as either normal-weight (n = 32) or overweight (n = 28). Participants were randomly assigned to either a TSF or a neutral induction condition, and their responses on TSF questionnaires were assessed. The results indicated that normal-weight individuals reported higher TSF levels after a TSF induction than a control induction, whereas there were no significant differences across conditions for overweight individuals. This suggests that normal-weight females were more susceptible to the TSF induction than were overweight females. The results are discussed in terms of possible differences between normal-weight and overweight females in self-regulation after food-cue exposure.

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