Greater Food-Related Stroop Interference Following Behavioral Weight Loss Intervention | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2165-7904

Journal of Obesity & Weight Loss Therapy
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Research Article

Greater Food-Related Stroop Interference Following Behavioral Weight Loss Intervention

Kathryn E Demos*, Jeanne M McCaffery, Sara A Cournoyer, Caroline A Wunsch and Rena R Wing
Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center, Department of Psychiatry & Human Behavior, The Miriam Hospital and Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University,USA
Corresponding Author : Kathryn E Demos
Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center
The Miriam Hospital / Brown University
196 Richmond Street Providence, RI 02903, USA
Tel: 4017938939
Fax: 4017938944
E-mail: [email protected]
Received August 12, 2013; Accepted August 26, 2013; Published August 28, 2013
Citation: Demos KE, McCaffery JM, Cournoyer SA, Wunsch CA, Wing RR (2013) Greater Food-Related Stroop Interference Following Behavioral Weight Loss Intervention. J Obes Weight Loss Ther 3:187. doi:10.4172/2165-7904.1000187
Copyright: © 2013 Demos KE, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Objective: Individuals who have successfully lost and maintained weight have slower reaction times on foodrelated Stroop tasks, indicating greater cognitive interference to food stimuli compared to obese and normal weight individuals. It remains unclear whether this interference is a preexisting characteristic of weight loss maintainers or if food-interference changes in obese individuals as they lose weight. Method: To examine potential changes in food-related interference, a food-Stroop paradigm was used to measure responses to food versus non-food words in 13 obese women before and after a 12-week behavioral weight loss program. Results: Participants achieved a mean weight loss of 5.12 kg through the behavioral weight loss program. Their reaction time to food words became significantly slower (p<0.001) and they made significantly more errors (p<0.01) following treatment. Discussion: These findings suggest that through behavioral weight loss treatment obese individuals experience increased interference toward food words, which may reflect increased salience of food-related cues. Future research is needed to determine whether increases in interference are related to better weight loss and maintenance.