Journal of Food and Nutritional DisordersISSN: 2324-9323

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Using Technology to Enhance Self-Regulation of Eating Behavior

The aim of the current study, derived from Goal Conflict and Duel Process theories, was to investigate if self-regulation in restrained eaters can be enhanced by strengthening the link between desired food stimuli and eating control goal. An iPhone app, employed to prime eating control goals, was utilized to improve eating self-regulation in restrained eaters. During a 7-day intervention, 20 restrained eaters had access to randomly activated, personalized eating control reminders on their iPhone. Self-regulation efficacy, eating behavior (unhealthy food serving sizes and loss of control over eating), and eating efficacy were assessed pre and post intervention. Results suggest that the reminder significantly improved self-regulation behavior (p<.05) and eating-efficacy beliefs (p<.05) in restrained eaters. However, no significant improvements were found for unhealthy food serving sizes and loss of control over eating behavior. Future studies should explore if self-regulation and eating-efficacy translate into decreased serving sizes and loss of eating control longer-term.

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