Discuss explanations for the success and/or failure of dieting.
(Jan 2010)

Introduction: Define key assumptions, terms.

Dieting involves restricting food intake to reduce weight. It can also be combined with exercising. Dieting is very common in Western societies at least – about 40% are trying to lose weight. The issue of dieting is more complex than it seems as dieting is hard and they are not always successful and when they are they require hard work and determination. This essay will discuss the factors which lead to the failure of dieting and secondly, what we know about successful dieting.

Approach (A01)
Methodology – studies (A01):
Evaluation (A02):
Cognitive approach
(Although cognitive can also be biological) Boundary model: Suggests that hunger and satisfaction (satiety) keep food intake within certain boundaries. Between these psychological factors have an impact (i.e. Boredom, distress). Dieters have a larger range and a self-imposed desired intake.
Herman and Mack(1975)
Hypothesis: Individuals have a set-point and weight does not fluctuate very much above or below (homeostasis).
Participants: 45 women.
Procedure: 3 groups. 1st: no food before preload test, 2nd: high calorie milkshake as preload. 3rd: two milkshakes as preload. All groups given tubs of ice-cream and asked to rate taste qualities. They could eat as much as they wanted in 10 mins.
Unrestrained eaters eat less ice-cream in the two milkshake preload condition than in the one or no preload condition.
- Restrained eaters eat more ice-cream after one or two milkshake preloads than after zero preloads.
- Unrestrained eaters follow biological set-point.
Restrained eaters do not eat very much with no preload.
In high calorie pre-load conditions, preloads restrained push them beyond cognitive boundary as a result of the ‘what the hell effect’.

Methodological issues
Individual differences, some participants may have preferred...

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