A comparison of cognitive restructuring and cognitive defusion as strategies for resisting a craved food

Moffitt, R, Brinkworth, G, Noakes, M and Mohr, P 2012, 'A comparison of cognitive restructuring and cognitive defusion as strategies for resisting a craved food', Psychology and Health, vol. 27, pp. 74-90.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title A comparison of cognitive restructuring and cognitive defusion as strategies for resisting a craved food
Author(s) Moffitt, R
Brinkworth, G
Noakes, M
Mohr, P
Year 2012
Journal name Psychology and Health
Volume number 27
Start page 74
End page 90
Total pages 17
Publisher Routledge
Abstract The present study investigated the effectiveness of two cognitive strategies for resisting a craved food. One-hundred-and-ten self-identified chocolate cravers were randomised to a waiting list control condition or to receive a 60-minute standardised group intervention on cognitive restructuring (CR) or cognitive defusion (CD). All participants were provided with a bag of chocolates which they were instructed to carry with them for seven days and try to resist eating; uneaten chocolates were returned at the end of the study period. Measures included chocolate consumption and other behavioural, cognitive and evaluative self-reported outcomes. Overall, the odds of abstinence from chocolate were 3.26 times higher for participants in the CD than the CR condition. The effect of the interventions depended on baseline cognitive distress levels; for individuals at high levels of cognitive distress the CD condition led to significantly more restraint from chocolate than both the CR and control conditions. In addition, CD led to greater self-reported improvements in eating behaviours during the study period and was rated significantly easier to use and apply than CR. CD is discussed as a simple and efficient approach to manage food cravings and, potentially, other behavioural contributors to obesity.
Subject Educational Psychology
Sport and Exercise Psychology
Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Keyword(s) Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
cognitive defusion
cognitive restructuring
eating behaviour
food cravings
DOI - identifier 10.1080/08870446.2012.694436
Copyright notice © CSIRO Australia
ISSN 0887-0446
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