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Attentional bias in restrictive eating disorders. Stronger attentional avoidance of high-fat food compared to healthy controls?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22005183     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
A striking feature of the restricting subtype of anorexia nervosa (AN) is that these patients are extremely successful in restricting their food intake. Possibly, they are highly efficient in avoiding attentional engagement of food cues, thereby preventing more elaborate processing of food cues and thus subsequent craving. This study examined whether patients diagnosed with restrictive eating disorders ('restricting AN-like patients'; N=88) indeed show stronger attentional avoidance of visual food stimuli than healthy controls (N=76). Attentional engagement and disengagement were assessed by means of a pictorial exogenous cueing task, and (food and neutral) pictures were presented for 300, 500, or 1000ms. In the 500ms condition, both restricting AN-like patients and healthy controls demonstrated attentional avoidance of high-fat food as indexed by a negative cue-validity effect and impaired attentional engagement with high-fat food, whereas no evidence was found for facilitated disengagement from high-fat food. Within the group of restricting AN-like patients, patients with relatively severe eating pathology showed relatively strong attentional engagement with low-fat food. There was no evidence for attentional bias in the 300 and 1000ms condition. The pattern of findings indicate that attentional avoidance of high-fat food is a common phenomenon that may become counterproductive in restricting AN-like patients, as it could facilitate their restricted food intake.
Esther M Veenstra; Peter J de Jong
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2011-10-8
Journal Detail:
Title:  Appetite     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1095-8304     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2011 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-10-18     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8006808     Medline TA:  Appetite     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Department of Eating Disorders, University of Groningen, Accare, The Netherlands; Department of Clinical and Developmental Psychology, Faculty of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Grote Kruisstraat 2-1, 9712 TS Groningen, The Netherlands.
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