Failure of Dieting Essay Plan / Notes

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  • Created on: 08-04-14 12:56
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Sheet 3 ­ Eating Behaviour 07.04.2014
Discuss explanations for the failure
of dieting (24marks)
The body evolves to cope with chronic Herman & Mack: Restraint Theory: Dieting
food shortages by lowering the metabolic can lead to overeating. Ruderman and
rate and protecting fat stores in times of Wilson tested this theory by conducting a
starvation. Extreme dieting triggers this lab study to explore eating behaviour using
response. a preload/pretest procedure. The study
involved giving participant's a high calorie
preload or a low calorie preload.
P's were then asked to take part in a taste
test. P's were left alone whilst they rated
their foods.
They found that nondieters tend to adjust
for the earlier preload menu. If they initially
ate a highcalorie snack, they would
consume fewer calories during the taste
test. Dieters on the other hand ate lots
more if they had consumed the high calorie
According to the restraint theory, once a
large or perceived highcalorie preload
has been consumed, restrained eaters
take the view that their diet is no longer
worth maintaining for that day.
Mood and displacement: Dieters The use of experimental research:
overeat to overcome a low mood. Ensuring that key variables are
Polivy and Herman (1975) told manipulated and controlled ­ able to infer
participants they had either passed or cause and effect. The findings reflect
failed a cognitive task. The purpose was people's experiences of trying to lose
to alter their mood. They were then weight and failing.
provided with food, either in limited or As it's a lab study, it's artificial and
plentiful supply. It was found that those on therefore lacks ecological validity.
diets would overeat and then attribute
their low mood to the fact that they'd
eaten too much. It was concluded that
dieters overeat to move responsibility
for their low mood from the real cause,
displacing it onto food instead.
Contradicting evidence has shown that
obese individuals usually have higher
levels of leptin, which should mean they
would have smaller appetites and would
not be overweight.

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Sheet 3 ­ Eating Behaviour 07.04.2014
Laposky et al: found obesity is linked
genetically to leptin resistance. People
with an abnormal leptin regulation system
are insensitive to leptin and its signal to
eat, which is why they are obese in the first
instance and why dieting is not successful
in longterm weight loss.
Biological factors:
The neurotransmitter NPY produced by
the hypothalamus increases eating and
decreases physical activity. The
hormone leptin binds with NPY neurons
and tells the brain that we've had enough
to eat.…read more


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