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Consolidating Healthy Eating Intentions with tDCS

Berry, Charlotte (2019) Consolidating Healthy Eating Intentions with tDCS. Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) has gained much recent interest by psychologists as a technique to benefit weight loss and healthy eating. An opportunity sample took part in an intention-formation task, alongside real stimulation or ‘sham’ stimulation. The study investigated the effect that transcranial direct current stimulation has on calorie intake in young participants. Twenty participants aged from 18-24 received either real stimulation or ‘sham' stimulation (the placebo effect) and were told to watch a presentation including 20 freewill quotes as the behaviour change technique. Each participant recorded their calorie intake a pre-intervention measure on the app ‘My Fitness Pal' for 7 consecutive days, it was then recorded as a post-intervention measure for a further 7 days. A 2x2 ANOVA and a t-test were used to statistically analyse the data.Real stimulation was found to decrease calorie intake in comparison to the placebo stimulation in which calorie intake stayed the same, even increasing slightly. This was unexpected, as the hypothesis was that the placebo condition would also slightly reduce their calories due to the fact they are tracking calories and taking part in the intention-formation task. It is hoped this study has wide applications for therapy and health in real-world settings.

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