Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy

Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy

The influence of inhibitory control on mood in overweight individuals

Mood, control and weight

There is a dramatic increase in overweight and obesity worldwide. Reward sensitivity to food stimuli has proven to be a particularly important mechanism for maintaining obesity: Food has a much more "rewarding" character for overweight people than for people of normal weight, and this positive characteristic in turn stabilises the mood of those affected. In this context, the ability to suppress (inhibitory control) is an important competence.

Aim of the study

The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of inhibitory control on mood in the perception of food stimuli using various paradigms. A total of 348 subjects are participating in the study, 174 with overweight and 174 with normal weight. The study includes one of three different experiments for all participants and a training for overweight subjects.

Course of the study

Before carrying out the experiments, we will conduct a diagnostic session (duration: approx. 1-2 hours).

You will then be randomly assigned to one of three experiments (duration: approx. 2 hours). At the beginning of the experiment all participants receive a breakfast. Then the participants (depending on the assigned experiment) work on attention or memory tasks and carry out taste tests or reaction experiments.

After the experiment, overweight persons (again randomly assigned) participate in training with a high or low number of food-related stimuli. The training consists of a total of 9 sessions (usually 30 minutes each), independent of the training group, and is conducted within 4 weeks (i.e. approximately 2 sessions per week). Three months after the end of the training there will also be a short follow-up appointment.

Who can participate?

Men and women who

  • are normal or overweight (BMI between 19.0 and 24.9 or 25.0 and 39.9 respectively; the following website can be used to calculate the BMI:
  • are between 18 and 60 years old
  • have never been diagnosed with an eating disorder
  • currently do not participate in other therapies or therapy studies
  • speak German fluently

Participation in the study is remunerated with 26 € (BMI between 19.0 and 24.9) and 114 € (BMI between 25.0 and 39.9) respectively.