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Appetite. 2010 Dec;55(3):420-5. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2010.07.014. Epub 2010 Aug 1.

Delay discounting moderates the effect of food reinforcement on energy intake among non-obese women.

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The Pennsylvania State University, United States.


Recent theoretical approaches to food intake hypothesize that eating represents a balance between reward-driven motivation to eat versus inhibitory executive function processes, however this hypothesis remains to be tested. The objective of the current study was to test the hypothesis that the motivation to eat, operationalized by the relative reinforcing value (RRV) of food, and inhibitory processes, assessed by delay discounting (DD), interact to influence energy intake in an ad libitum eating task. Female subjects (n = 24) completed a DD of money procedure, RRV task, and an ad libitum eating task in counterbalanced sessions. RRV of food predicted total energy intake, however the effect of the RRV of food on energy intake was moderated by DD. Women higher in DD and RRV of food consumed greater total energy, whereas women higher in RRV of food but lower in DD consumed less total energy. Our findings support the hypothesis that reinforcing value and executive function mediated processes interactively influence food consumption.

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