Study finds that obese women are more impulsive than other females
Hannah K. Webber, Staff Writer
Published On: 12/ 2/2008
Obese women are found to have a more feeble impulse control than normal weight women, are more likely to want instant gratification.
Researchers at UAB conducted a study that found obese women displaying weaker impulse control than normal-weight women. The study also found that impulsivity levels are nearly the same between obese and normal-weight men.
A UAB Media Relations article by Gail Short states that the study was conducted to see how obese and normal-weight men and women differed in their decision-making skills. The study focused on delay discounting, which is the measure of how much an individual is driven by immediate gratification versus the willingness to wait for delayed but greater rewards.
Why did UAB researchers decide to focus on impulse control and obesity?
Kathy Avsar, a UAB psychology graduate student and co-author of the study, cited the connection between obesity and heart disease.
“Understanding mechanisms that might lead to obesity is the first step in developing effective treatments for obesity,” she said. “Several similarities are seen between drug addiction and obesity such as both being driven by cues in the environment. Research had shown in drug addiction that impulsivity was a risk factor and we thought that it might be a risk factor in some individuals who develop obesity.”