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An Ecological Momentary Assessment of Lapse Occurrences in Dieters

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study is to investigate the factors related to dietary lapse occurrence in a community sample of dieters.

Methods

An ecological momentary assessment (EMA) methodology, via mobile phone-based diaries, was employed to record dietary lapse occurrences in a group of dieters (N = 80; M age  = 41.21 ± 15.60 years; M BMI = 30.78 ± 7.26) over 7 days.

Results

Analyses indicated that lapses were positively associated with the strength of dietary temptation, presence of others, coping responses, and the environment (exposure to food cues) in which the dieters were in; lapses were more likely to occur in the evening and were negatively associated with the use of coping mechanisms. Additionally, lapse occurrence was found to mediate the relationships among the above predictors of lapse and the self-efficacy to resist future dietary temptations.

Conclusions

Results provide an insight into the occurrence of lapses in dieters and have implications for interventions focusing on weight loss maintenance and relapse prevention.

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Authors’ Statement of Conflict of Interest and Adherence to Ethical Standards

Authors Heather McKee, Nikos Ntoumanis, and Ian Taylor declare that they have no conflict of interest. All procedures, including the informed consent process, were conducted in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000.

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Correspondence to Heather C. McKee Ph.D..

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McKee, H.C., Ntoumanis, N. & Taylor, I.M. An Ecological Momentary Assessment of Lapse Occurrences in Dieters. ann. behav. med. 48, 300–310 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12160-014-9594-y

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12160-014-9594-y

Keywords

  • Lapse
  • Dietary temptation
  • Self-control
  • Weight maintenance
  • Ecological momentary assessment