The Role of Attentional Bias and Eating Styles in Dieters



Introduction: According to the World Health Organization’s (W.H.O) reports, obesity and overweight
are among the most health-threatening problems in many countries, including Iran. Evidence has
suggested attentional bias has an important role in dieters` failure. Also, results from previous studies
show that eating style is an important factor in predicting dieters` success. The purpose of this study
was investigating these factors in an Iranian sample.
Method: In the present study, food attentional bias (FAB), eating styles, and their interactions were
investigated in dieters (N=34) and non-dieters (N=35). The exclusion criteria were bulimia or anorexia
nervosa. FAB was assessed using a modified emotional Stroop paradigm. Dutch Eating Behavior
Questionnaire (DEBQ) was used to measure the participants’ dominant eating style.
Results: Results indicated that, in comparison with non-dieters, dieters show more FAB, and increases
in body mass index (BMI) were associated with increases in the participants’ FAB. The majority of
overweight and obese participants had emotional and restrained eating styles.
Conclusion: To increase their success rate, it seems that dieting programs should address the dieters’
dominant eating style and efforts need to be made to reduce their FAB.