Food-related inhibitory control training reduces food liking but not snacking frequency or weight in a large healthy adult sample

Rachel C. Adams, Katherine Button, Laura Hickey, Sophie Morrison, Audra Smith, William Bolus, Emily Coombs, Shannon Randolph, Rebecca Hunt, Dina Kim, Christopher D. Chambers, Natalia S. Lawrence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Inhibitory control training has recently been used as an intervention to aid healthy eating and encourage weight loss. The aim of this pre-registered study was to explore the effects of training on food liking, food consumption and weight loss in a large (n = 366), predominantly healthy-weight sample. Participants received four training sessions within a week, in which they had to inhibit their responses to either energy-dense foods (active group) or non-food images (control group). Subjective food ratings, food consumption frequency and weight were measured pre- and post-training. At two-weeks post-training, the active group reported a greater reduction in liking for energy-dense foods, compared to the control group. Active participants also reported a significantly greater increase in healthy food liking, immediately post-training, relative to the control group. There was no statistically significant difference between groups for the change in consumption of trained foods or for weight loss. These findings are partially consistent with previous research conducted in smaller, more overweight samples. Exploratory analyses suggest that some effects of training may be driven by awareness effects. Methodological differences across findings and avenues for future investigation are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105601
Early online date17 Jul 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Jul 2021

Cite this