Comparing thought suppression and acceptance as coping techniques for food cravings

Hooper N., Sandoz E. K. , Ashton J., Clarke A., McHugh L.

EATING BEHAVIORS, vol.13, no.1, pp.62-64, 2012 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 13 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2011.10.002
  • Title of Journal : EATING BEHAVIORS
  • Page Numbers: pp.62-64
  • Keywords: Thought Suppression, Acceptance, Defusion, Cravings, COGNITIVE DEFUSION


Handling food cravings seems to play a major role in weight management. Many try to simply avoid cravings. However, avoidance based techniques like thought suppression can make attempts to deal with cravings more difficult. Recent research suggests that acceptance based techniques, such as defusion, may be a plausible alternative. The current study aimed to compare these two techniques. Participants were instructed in either a thought suppression or defusion technique at the beginning of a week-long period of attempted chocolate abstinence. A control group was given no instruction. It was predicted that the participants given the defusion intervention would eat less chocolate during six days and during a final taste test. It was found that participants in the defusion group ate significantly less chocolate during the taste test than other groups. However, no difference was found in the amount of chocolate eaten throughout the duration of the experiment. The results are discussed in terms of the possible utility of acceptance based techniques in promoting weight management. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.