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Ann Behav Med. 2016 Jun;50(3):452-9. doi: 10.1007/s12160-016-9771-2.

Genomic Information may Inhibit Weight-Related Behavior Change Inclinations Among Individuals in a Fear State.

Author information

1
Social and Behavioral Research Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH, 31 Center Drive, B1B36, Bethesda, MD, 20892, USA. perskys@mail.nih.gov.
2
Basic Biobehavioral and Psychological Sciences Branch, Behavioral Research Program, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, MD, USA.
3
Behavioral Research Program, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, MD, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

As evidence mounts regarding associations between genetics and body weight, it is essential to understand how to communicate this information, and factors like emotion that could moderate the effectiveness of messages.

PURPOSE:

We assessed influences of emotion on reactions to weight-related genomic information in a virtual clinical setting.

METHODS:

An online representative US sample of overweight women was randomized to receive an emotion induction (anger, fear, or neutral) paired with information about genomic or behavioral influences on weight in an interaction with a virtual doctor.

RESULTS:

Receiving genomic information led to reduced attributions of lifestyle causes for weight and behavioral intentions, but only among individuals in a fear state.

CONCLUSIONS:

The current study is among the first to reinforce the concern that discussing genomic underpinnings of overweight could undercut health behavior, and highlights the importance of identifying factors like emotion that influence interpretation of genomic information. Clinicaltrials.gov NCT01888913.

KEYWORDS:

Genomics; Health-care communication; Obesity; Weight management

PMID:
26850762
PMCID:
PMC4867291
DOI:
10.1007/s12160-016-9771-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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