THE EFFECT OF PREOCCUPYING COGNITIONS ASSOCIATED WITH WEIGHT LOSS DIETING ON WORKING MEMORY PERFORMANCE
 
Bryan, J., CSIRO Health Sciences and Nutrition, Kemps, E. and Vreugdenberg, L., Flinders University of South Australia, Australia
 
This study investigated the effect of self-imposed, weight loss dieting and associated preoccupying cognitions, on working memory performance. A dual- task paradigm was used in which dieters (n = 20) and non-dieters (n = 20) completed mental addition problems concurrently with suppression tasks designed to tap the central executive, phonological loop and visuo-spatial sketch pad components of working memory. As predicted, dieters performed more poorly on measures of the central executive and the phonological loop, but not the visuo-spatial sketch pad, compared with non-dieters. In addition, dieters reported more preoccupying cognitions concerning food, diet and body shape than did non-dieters and these preoccupying cognitions mediated the relationship between dieting status and working memory performance.