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15-05-2018 | Brief Report | Uitgave 6/2018

Journal of Behavioral Medicine 6/2018

Self-control as measured by delay discounting is greater among successful weight losers than controls

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Behavioral Medicine > Uitgave 6/2018
Auteurs:
Warren K. Bickel, Lara N. Moody, Mikhail Koffarnus, J. Graham Thomas, Rena Wing
Belangrijke opmerkingen
Warren K. Bickel and Lara N. Moody are co-first-authors.

Abstract

Long-term weight loss maintenance is likely to require strong self-control in order to sustain changes in behavior patterns. We, therefore, tested the hypothesis that those who have successfully maintained weight loss may have superior self-control compared to control participants. Self-control was assessed using a delay discounting task through a webbased assessment of members of the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR: N = 757; non-obese = 605; obese = 152) and control participants (Control N = 443; nonobese = 236; obese = 207) from Amazon's Mechanical Turk. Both NWCR members that were currently obese (t = 5.42, p < 0.001) and nonobese (t = 5.28, p < 0.001) discounted the future less than control participants with comparable weight statuses. These results are indicative of higher levels of self-control behaviors in individuals that have lost and successfully maintained weight loss. Thus, successful weight losers may exhibit stronger self-control, as measured through discounting of future rewards, However, further research is needed to determine whether strong selfcontrol enables individuals to succeed at weight loss maintenance or develops as a consequence.

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