The present study compared the relative effectiveness of simple, commercially available food and non-food olfactory tasks on chocolate craving reduction. Chocolate cravings were induced by a series of coloured photographs and 67 undergraduate women were asked to smell one of three odours (green apple, jasmine, or water). The non-food odorant (jasmine) significantly reduced chocolate cravings relative to both the food and control odorants. Thus simple non-food odorants offer potential scope as a technique for curbing unwanted food cravings.
"Spontaneous mental images can lead to similar responses (May et al., 2012). Such images are involved in the development of cravings for alcohol (Statham et al., 2011) and food (Tiggemann et al., 2010; Kemps et al., 2012; Meule et al., 2012; Bullins et al., 2013; Rodriguez-Martin et al., 2013). Whereas it is evident that thoughts about food can enhance appetite, recent research also suggests that repeatedly imagining food consumption upon being instructed to do so by an experimenter may lead to different effects than thoughts about food without multiple repetitions. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Research has shown that imagining food consumption leads to food-specific habituation effects. In the present research, we replicated these effects and further examined whether the depletion of self-regulatory resources would reduce the habituation effects of imagined food consumption. Since self-regulatory resources have been shown to reduce habituation effects during the perception of emotional stimuli, we expected a reduction in habituation effects from imagined food consumption when self-regulatory resources were depleted. In Study 1, we replicated habituation effects as a response to imagining gummy bear consumption with a high (36) and medium number (18) of repetitions in a camouflaged taste test. Participants imagining gummy bear intake showed decreased food intake compared with participants who imagined putting a coin into a laundry machine. The number of repetitions did not significantly moderate the observed habituation effect. In Study 2, we investigated whether self-regulatory depletion would impede habituation effects evoked by the imagination of walnut consumption. Participants in a depleted state did not show a reduction in food intake after imagining walnut intake compared with participants in a non-depleted state. We discuss directions for future research and processes that might underlie the observed moderating effect of self-regulatory resources.
Frontiers in Psychology 11/2014; 5(1391). DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01391 · 2.80 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Based on the logic of mutual competition between cravings and odours for limited-capacity resources, this study investigated whether a simple olfactory task, involving a brief odour exposure, could reduce food cravings. In support, Experiment 1 showed that smelling a neutral unfamiliar odorant reduced cravings for highly desired food items, relative to a comparison auditory task and a no-task control condition. Experiment 2 replicated these findings specifically for chocolate cravings, which can be particularly problematic. Thus olfactory stimulation offers potential scope for curbing unwanted food cravings.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The use of self-help manuals or bibliotherapy could be an effective resource to treat obesity, but their effects on the elaborative processes of food cravings remain unclear. The present study examined whether bibliotherapy can effectively reduce food cravings in an overweight and obese adult population. 80 participants were randomly allocated either to the Self-help Manual group or the Intention-control group. They had to apply each resource over a period of 3months whenever they felt a craving arise. During the baseline period most of the participants reported grazing as the main cause of their weight gain. Compared to baseline, the results of the third month of the follow-up revealed that intentions had paradoxical effects on food thought suppression, preoccupation with food, negative affect and guilty feelings; but the Self-help Manual promoted positive changes on the food cravings trait and its dimensions, food thoughts suppression, emotional and behavioural reactions to intrusions and BMI. These findings suggest that the Self-help Manual could be useful in reduing food cravings.
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