Ecological momentary assessment of temptation and lapse in dieting

Eat Behav. Winter 2001;2(4):307-21. doi: 10.1016/s1471-0153(01)00037-x.


Although some research attention has been given to the factors associated with temptation and lapse in dieting, the majority of research has focused on individuals in weight loss clinical trials and relied heavily on retrospective self-report data. The present study sought to overcome these limitations by using ecological momentary assessment (EMA) techniques to examine situations of dietary temptation, lapse, and minimal dietary consequence with a sample of overweight dieters (N=30) attempting to lose weight on their own. Results support and extend previous research findings on dietary temptation and lapse. In general, results indicate that recent consumptive activity, location, mood state, type of activity, and abstinence violation effects were related to moments of temptation and/or lapse. Education on the factors associated with dietary temptation and lapse and strategies for addressing these factors is imperative for both dieters in formal programs and those attempting to lose or maintain weight on their own.