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Project

A discrete emotions approach to obesity: measurement and implications for prevention

Social Processes Lab

ScienceCampus Tuebingen, Cluster: Overcoming barriers to prevention and treatment of obesity in childhood and adolescence - a digital media approach

Duration

April 2013 - December 2014

Funding

ScienceCampus Tuebingen

Description

The project “A discrete emotions approach to obesity: measurement and implications for prevention” is part of the ScienceCampus Tuebingen Cluster 7 “Overcoming barriers to prevention and treatment of obesity in childhood and adolescence - a digital media approach” which investigates barriers and supportive approaches to treatment of obesity in childhood and adolescence.

Since obesity is a key risk factor for diseases in Western societies, it is of particular importance to identify determinants of successful weight regulation and to develop new treatments and preventive measures. The aim of this project is to examine the applicability of the discrete emotions approach on weight regulation. Specifically, the relationship between emotions with respect to one’s own body weight and weight-related intentions and behavior will be investigated. Understanding this relationship opens a promising path to new approaches for future preventions and interventions regarding obesity.

In this project we investigate the role of emotions towards own body and body weight in predicting subsequent behavioral tendencies. For this purpose we consider discrete emotions (e.g. pride, worry) in contrast to global assessment dimensions used in previous research.
Preliminary findings from experimental studies and a field study indicate a supportive role of discrete emotions, here particularly weight-related pride and worry, in relation to the increase of weight-reducing behavioral intentions and behavioral tendencies. These findings suggest that the discrete emotions approach can contribute to a better understanding of successful weight regulation and form the basis for successful interventions. In the further course of the project the effectiveness of inducing individual emotions in order to increase physical activity by Internet-based interventions will be investigated.