Adaptive and maladaptive emotion regulation skills are associated with food intake following a hunger-induced increase in negative emotions

Mégane Ackermans*, Nienke Jonker, Peter de Jong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Many individuals would like to lose weight and often attempt to do so by dieting. However, dieting attempts often backfire and contribute to the risk of weight gain and obesity. Food restriction inevitably leads to hunger and hunger, in turn, induces negative emotions. The inability to regulate such a hunger-induced increase in negative emotions in an adaptive way may be responsible for overeating. The current study aimed to gain a better understanding of this potential psychological mechanism underlying failed dieting attempts. Adaptive and maladaptive emotion regulation (ER) were assessed with an online questionnaire in women with a healthy weight. Subsequently, participants were assigned to the fasted condition (fasting for 14h, n = 49) or the satiated condition (eating between 2 h and 30 min before the lab session, n = 59) and attended a lab session in which they completed tasks while given the opportunity to eat chips and M&M's. We did not find an association between any ER variable and the likelihood to begin eating. Among those who began eating, higher scores on adaptive cognitive ER and on maladaptive behavioral ER were associated with lower caloric intake in fasted individuals. Higher scores on adaptive behavioral ER were associated with higher caloric intake in fasted individuals. Utilizing adaptive cognitive ER when experiencing a hunger-induced increase in negative emotions may help individuals manage their food intake and maintain a healthy weight.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107148
Number of pages9
JournalAppetite
Volume193
Early online date6-Dec-2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1-Feb-2024

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