Dieters' experience of craving thoughts : the role of appraisal and thought control in dysfunctional eating behaviour and emotional distress
thesisposted on 15.12.2014, 10:46 by Joanne. Newbolt
Food cravings are a commonplace experience in the general population and ordinarily, are not associated with emotional distress or a lack of behavioural control (e.g. bingeing). However in some groups with disordered eating, food cravings can be associated with significant distress and are implicated as a contributory factor in binge eating.;Recent advances in cognitive theory have highlighted the role of appraisal and thought control strategies in emotional distress and various strategies for controlling unwanted thoughts have been described. In particular the thought control strategies of worry and punishment have been associated with higher levels of distress. It is therefore proposed that the way in which craving thoughts are appraised and dealt with is theoretically and clinically a more meaningful focus of analysis than the craving thoughts themselves.;The current study is a cross sectional correlation design exploring the association between thought control strategies, ratings of dimensions of cravings, eating behaviour and emotional distress in dieters. 127 dieters currently attending Weight Watchers to achieve weight loss were recruited to complete a battery of questionnaires. In addition beliefs about craving and coping strategies were explored in more detail in a subsample of ten dieters.;The current study found that both the appraisal of the negative experience of food craving and the thought control strategies of worry and punishment were associated with dysfunctional eating behaviour and emotional distress.;The theoretical and clinical implications of the role of appraisal and thought control in the behavioural and emotional response to food cravings, are discussed. Areas for further research are highlighted.