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Cognitive and behavioral correlates of BMI among male and female undergraduate students

Pothos, E. M., Tapper, K. & Calitri, R. (2009). Cognitive and behavioral correlates of BMI among male and female undergraduate students. Appetite, 52(3), pp. 797-800. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2009.03.002


We examine three sets of possible correlates of current body mass index (BMI): a set of measures based on cognitive biases for food-related information, the Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire (DEBQ) indices, and the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS) indices. Contrary to expectations from related literature, none of the cognitive measures correlated with BMI in the whole sample or separately for males and females. For females there was a negative correlation between BMI and external eating and for males a positive correlation between BMI and both external eating and emotional eating, a finding which broadly replicates recent research with Dutch participants. Overall, cognitive paradigms have been employed very fruitfully in areas such as excessive drinking. Our results suggest caution in extending this research to eating behavior.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in <Journal title>. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Appetite Volume 52, Issue 3, June 2009, Pages 797–800,
Publisher Keywords: emotional Stroop, attentional biases, BMI, DEBQ, DASS
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
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