Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Temporal discounting and body mass index in college students
by Fernandez, Danthea Aline, A.M., University of Missouri - Kansas City, 2013, 59; 1551599
Abstract (Summary)

Overconsumption of food and drink can lead to overweight and obesity, which in turn can lead to chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. Current data show that two-thirds of the adult population in the United States is overweight or obese. A research study was conducted at the University of Missouri-Kansas City with a sample of 148 students. The goal of the study was to examine the relationships between weight status, self-reported eating behavior, and temporal discounting. To assess these constructs, self-reported eating behavior measures and a temporal discounting measure (which assesses impulsivity and the ability to delay gratification) were used.

The first hypothesis proposed higher BMI would be significantly related with greater impulsivity as determined by temporal discounting rates. The second hypothesis proposed that higher BMI would be significantly related with increased eating-related disinhibition, decreased diet restricting, decreased healthful habits, and increased hunger-related behavior. The third hypothesis proposed that individuals with greater impulsivity would report increased eating-related disinhibition, decreased diet restricting, decreased healthful habits, and increased hunger-related behavior.

In evaluating the first hypothesis, the study results found no significant relationship between BMI and impulsivity (determined by temporal discounting rates) for this sample. However, for the second hypothesis, it was concluded that an increase in BMI was weakly related to an increase in dietary restraint (i.e, meal planning) and eating-related disinhibition (i.e., not being able to stop eating or keep oneself from eating). The study results for the third hypothesis also concluded that as impulsivity increase was weakly related to an increase in hunger-related behavior and feelings (i.e., feeling hungry; eating related to hunger).

Overall, it was expected that there would be stronger correlations between BMI, self-reported eating behavior, and temporal discounting rates. Further research is needed to understand better the relationship between obesity and temporal discounting.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Bruce, Amanda S.
Commitee: Bruce, Jared, Lundgren, Jennifer D.
School: University of Missouri - Kansas City
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- Missouri
Source: MAI 52/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Nutrition, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Body mass index, Eating behavior inventory, Monetary choice questionnaire, Obesity, Temporal discounting, Three factor eating questionnaire
Publication Number: 1551599
ISBN: 9781303698187
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