Low craving control predicts increased high energy density food intake during the COVID-19 lockdown: Result replicated in an Australian sample

Nicola J. Buckland, Eva Kemps

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This research aimed to replicate a previous UK-based finding that low craving control predicts increased intake of high energy density foods (HED) during the COVID-19 lockdown, and extend this finding to adults living in Victoria, Australia. The study also assessed whether acceptance coping moderates the relationship between craving control and increased HED food intake, and examined the associations between trait disinhibition, perceived stress and changes to HED food intake. An online survey completed by 124 adults living in Victoria, Australia (total eligible n = 147; 38.5 ± 12.9 years) during the COVID-19 lockdown showed that 49% of participants reported increased overall food intake, and 21–29% reported increased intake of HED sweet and savoury foods during the COVID-19 lockdown. Of the eating behaviour traits assessed, low craving control was the only significant predictor of increased HED sweet and savoury food intake (cognitive restraint, disinhibition and emotional eating were non-significant predictors). Perceived stress was associated with reported increases in overall savoury and sweet snack intake, but was not significantly associated with changes to specific HED food groups (sweet and savoury). In this sample, acceptance coping did not significantly moderate the relationship between craving control and increased HED food intake. Based on these replicated findings, further trials should now consider interventions targeting craving control to promote controlled food intake in individuals at-risk of weight gain during the current COVID-19 and future potential lockdowns.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105317
Number of pages7
JournalAppetite
Volume166
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021

Keywords

  • Acceptance coping
  • COVID-19 lockdown
  • Craving control
  • Eating behaviour traits
  • Food intake
  • High energy density foods
  • Replication

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