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Influence of hunger on attentional engagement with and disengagement from pictorial food cues in women with a healthy weight
- Jonker, Nienke C., Bennik, Elise C., de Lang, Thomas A., de Jong, Peter J.
- Appetite 2020 v.151 pp. 104686
- breakfast, eating habits, hunger, ideal body weight, women
- Because of inconsistencies in the field of attentional bias to food cues in eating behavior, this study aimed to re-examine the assumption that hungry healthy weight individuals have an attentional bias to food cues, but satiated healthy weight individuals do not. Since attentional engagement and attentional disengagement have been proposed to play a distinct role in behavior, we used a performance measure that is specifically designed to differentiate between these two attentional processes. Participants were healthy weight women who normally eat breakfast. In the satiated condition (n = 54), participants were instructed to have breakfast just before coming to the lab. In the fasted condition (n = 50), participants fasted on average 14 h before coming into the lab. Satiated women showed no stronger attentional engagement or attentional disengagement bias to food cues than to neutral cues. Fasted women did show stronger attentional engagement to food cues than to neutral cues that were shown briefly (100 ms). They showed no bias in attentional engagement to food cues that were shown longer (500 ms) or in attentional disengagement from food cues. These findings are in line with the assumption that healthy weight individuals show an attentional bias to food cues when food stimuli are motivationally salient. Furthermore, the findings point to the importance of differentiating between attentional engagement and attentional disengagement.