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Comparing thought suppression and acceptance as coping techniques for food cravings

Hooper, Nic, Sandoz, Emily K., Ashton, Jennifer, Clarke, Amelia and McHugh, Louise 2012. Comparing thought suppression and acceptance as coping techniques for food cravings. Eating Behaviors 13 (1) , pp. 62-64. 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2011.10.002

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Handling food cravings seems to play a major role in weight management. Many try to simply avoid cravings. However, avoidance based techniques like thought suppression can make attempts to deal with cravings more difficult. Recent research suggests that acceptance based techniques, such as defusion, may be a plausible alternative. The current study aimed to compare these two techniques. Participants were instructed in either a thought suppression or defusion technique at the beginning of a week-long period of attempted chocolate abstinence. A control group was given no instruction. It was predicted that the participants given the defusion intervention would eat less chocolate during six days and during a final taste test. It was found that participants in the defusion group ate significantly less chocolate during the taste test than other groups. However, no difference was found in the amount of chocolate eaten throughout the duration of the experiment. The results are discussed in terms of the possible utility of acceptance based techniques in promoting weight management.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 1471-0153
Date of Acceptance: 12 October 2011
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2022 15:15

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