The effect of emotion regulation on food intake
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Introduction. As the numbers of overweight people increases each day it is an interesting phenomenon to explore. Therefore we investigated the effect of emotion on food intake to see if not emotions, but emotion regulation strategies play an important role in overeating. A regulation strategy named reappraisal was investigated in relation to food intake, to see if using reappraisal would result in less emotional impact and therefore result in less food intake. Methods. Twenty-five female students from the University of Utrecht participated in this experimental study. They were instructed to watch a video intended to evoke negative emotions. Thirteen participants were instructed to watch the video with a reappraisal strategy, twelve participants were instructed to look freely at the video. Afterwards food intake was measured. Results. Negative emotions significantly increased after watching the video. There was no significant effect of condition on food intake. Conclusion. These findings demonstrate the effects of reappraisal and a control condition by emotional experiences and the intake of food. No differential effect of food intake per condition was found. As regulation strategies reduce the emotional impact it results in more healthy ways to cope with negative emotions.