Are Obese Women More Impulsive?
A new study in the November issue of the journal Appetite finds that obese women display significantly weaker impulse control than normal-weight women, but between obese and normal-weight men, the impulsivity levels are nearly the same. The study was conducted by researchers in the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Department of Psychology.
…The researchers found that obese women discounted the value of future rewards at a rate three-to-four times greater than that of normal-weight women, suggesting greater impulsivity.
Obese men, however, and the male and female control subjects all showed similar levels of delay discounting. The results were the same even when the researchers controlled for differences in IQ and income, both of which have been found to be related to measures of impulsivity.
If you want to learn more about the science behind the obesity epidemic I recommend the book Waistland by Harvard psychologist Deirdre Barrett. It covers the obesity epidemic from an evolutionary standpoint and introduced me to the novel concept of “supernormal stimuli.”
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