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Title: External eating as a predictor of cue-reactivity to food-related virtual environments
Author: Ferrer, Marta (Ferrer García)
Gutiérrez Maldonado, José
Pla Sanjuanelo, Joana
Vilalta-Abella, Ferran
Andreu Gracia, Alexis
Dakanalis, Antonios
Fernández Aranda, Fernando
Fusté Escolano, Adela
Ribas Sabaté, Joan
Riva, Giuseppe
Saldaña García, Carmina
Sánchez, Isabel
Keywords: Trastorns de la conducta alimentària
Realitat virtual
Eating disorders
Virtual reality
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: IOS Press
Abstract: The objective of this study was to assess the association between external eating style and food craving experienced during exposure to food cues in virtual reality (VR) environments in both clinical and non-clinical samples. According to the externality theory, people with external eating experience higher reactivity when exposed to food cues, which in turn increases the probability of overeating. Forty patients with eating disorders (23 with bulimia nervosa and 17 with binge eating disorder) and 78 undergraduate students were exposed to 10 different food cues in four VR environments (kitchen, dining room, bedroom, and café). After 30 seconds of exposure to each VR environment, food craving was assessed using a visual analog scale. External, emotional and restrictive eating styles were also assessed using the DEBQ. The results showed a strong association between external eating and cue-elicited food craving. After controlling for the presence of eating disorder diagnosis, external eating was the best predictor of reported food craving. The results lend support to the externality theory but highlight the need for further research in specific patterns of functioning in patients with bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder.
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It is part of: Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, 2015, vol. 2019, num. 13, p. 117-122
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ISSN: 0926-9630
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Psicologia Clínica i Psicobiologia)

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