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ARS Home » Plains Area » Grand Forks, North Dakota » Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center » Healthy Body Weight Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #282249

Title: Dishabituating properties of cognitive and interpersonal stressors

item FEDA, DENISE - State University Of New York (SUNY)
item BENNETT, CONOR - State University Of New York (SUNY)
item TAM, ASHLIE - State University Of New York (SUNY)
item LITTLE, LAUREN - State University Of New York (SUNY)
item EPSTEIN, LEONARD - State University Of New York (SUNY)
item Roemmich, James

Submitted to: Annual Scientific Meeting NAASO, The Obesity Society
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/9/2012
Publication Date: 9/20/2012
Citation: Feda, D.M., Bennett, C., Tam, A., Little, L., Epstein, L.H., Roemmich, J.N. 2012. Dishabituating properties of cognitive and interpersonal stressors. Abstract presentation at: The Obesity Society Annual Meeting at ObesityWeekSM 2012; September 20-24, 2012; San Antonio TX.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Interpersonal stressors are especially effective at stimulating consumption of energy dense comfort foods, which may contribute to overweight or obesity. One reason that people slow or stop eating is by habituating to the food. Stress may also influence energy intake by acting as a dishabituator, but is not known if mental arithmetic, Stroop task, and interpersonal speech stressors have different dishabituating properties. These three tasks produce stress by different means, specifically through memory requirements, cognitive dissonance, and ego threat. PURPOSE: The goal of this research was to test differences in the ability of cognitive and interpersonal laboratory stressors to dishabituate repeated presentations of a comfort food. METHODS: Twenty adult females, ages 18-29, BMI 18-37, each completed three appointments where they engaged in motivated responding to earn portions of macaroni and cheese. Participants slowed their responding across time (p < 0.04). After 24 minutes, one of three stressors was presented. The order of presentation of stressors was counterbalanced across participants. Motivated responding for macaroni and cheese was determined after the stressor (putative dishabituator). RESULTS: There was an increase in responding after the stressors, but preliminary analyses suggest no significant difference in dishabituating properties by type of stressors (p > 0.3). CONCLUSIONS: This suggests that both cognitive and interpersonal stressors can dishabituate eating behavior and increase energy intake at a meal.