Women’s regulation styles for eating behaviors and outcomes: The mediating role of approach and avoidance food planning

Abstract

The purpose of this article was to examine the role played by different orientations in planning for eating behaviors as mediators of the relationship between regulation styles and eating behaviors. In Study 1, a new scale was developed to assess approach food planning and avoidance food planning. Results from confirmatory analyses (N = 241) supported the two-factor structure of the scale. In Study 2 (N = 202), in agreement with past research on the effects of autonomous and controlled motivation for the regulation of eating behaviors, we found that approach food planning partially mediated the effects of autonomous regulation for eating behaviors on healthy eating behaviors, while avoidance food planning partially mediated the effects of controlled regulation for eating behaviors on dysfunctional eating behaviors. Implications of these results for self-determination theory and for promoting healthy eating behaviors are discussed.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    The BMI divides weight by height ([weight (lbs)/height (in.)2] × 703). It serves as a valid measure of adiposity that is easy to use. The range of normal weight is situated at a BMI of 18.5–24.9. A BMI under 18.5 is considered underweight. A BMI of 25 and over is classified as overweight and a BMI of 30 and over is classified as obesity.

  2. 2.

    Kenny et al.’s (1998) method consists of dividing the product of path a (link between the predictor and the mediator) and path b (link between the mediator and the outcome) by a standard error term, using this formula: \( {a \times b} \mathord{\left/ {\vphantom {{a \times b} {{\sqrt {b^{2} sa^{2} + a^{2} sb^{2} + sa^{2} sb^{2} } }}}} \right. \kern-\nulldelimiterspace} {{\sqrt {b^{2} sa^{2} + a^{2} sb^{2} + sa^{2} sb^{2} } }}, \) where a and b are unstandardized regression coefficients of a and b and sa and sb are their standard errors. If the resulting z score of the mediated effect is greater than 1.96, then the effect is significant at the .05 level.

  3. 3.

    Mediational analyses were done on complete cases only.

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Correspondence to Luc G. Pelletier.

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This paper was prepared while the first author was supported by a doctoral scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), and the second author was supported by a research grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

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Otis, N., Pelletier, L.G. Women’s regulation styles for eating behaviors and outcomes: The mediating role of approach and avoidance food planning. Motiv Emot 32, 55–67 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11031-008-9083-3

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Keywords

  • Approach and avoidance plans
  • Self-Determination Theory
  • Healthy eating behaviors
  • Dysfunctional eating behaviors