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Exploring preferences for variable delays over fixed delays to high-value food rewards as a model of food-seeking behaviours in humans

Stokes, L-J, Davies, A, Lattimore, P, Winstanley, C and Rogers, R (2018) Exploring preferences for variable delays over fixed delays to high-value food rewards as a model of food-seeking behaviours in humans. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 374 (1766). ISSN 0962-8436

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Abstract

Foraging and operant models suggest that animals will tolerate uncertainty or risk to obtain food quickly. In modern food environments, sustained access to quick energydense foods can promote weight gain. Here, we used a discrete-choice procedure to examine peoples' choices about when next to eat high-value, palatable food rewards, probabilistically delivered immediately or following longer delays. In Experiment 1, moderately hungry young females showed consistent preferences for a variable delay option that delivered food rewards immediately or following long delays over a fixed delay option that delivered the same rewards following intermediate delays. These preferences were stronger in females with higher BMIs compared with lower BMIs, suggesting that quick food can enhance the value of uncertain or 'risky' food-seeking strategies in individuals vulnerable to future weight gain. In Experiment 2, prior exposure to a subtle and not easily identifiable food aroma increased selections of the variable delay option following delayed food rewards in a mixed sample of male and female adults, providing preliminary evidence that food cues can sustain uncertain food-seeking strategies. These data highlight a working hypothesis that the rapid delivery and consumption of food rewards, and food cues, can increase risk-tolerance in the food-seeking behaviours of individuals who are vulnerable to weight gain.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Laura-Jean G. Stokes , Anna Davies , Paul Lattimore , Catharine Winstanley and Robert D. Rogers .Exploring preferences for variable delays over fixed delays to high-value food rewards as a model of food-seeking behaviours in humans.374.Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. http://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2018.0141
Uncontrolled Keywords: 06 Biological Sciences, 11 Medical And Health Sciences
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Natural Sciences and Psychology
Publisher: Royal Society, The
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2019 11:45
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2019 21:52
DOI or Identification number: 10.1098/rstb.2018.0141
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/9842

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