Still no link between temporal discounting and body composition


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Description: Impulsive traits, broadly construed, are thought to play a role in under- or over-weight. For example, the behavioural economic factor of delay discounting, which determines the relative value between sooner and later rewards, is thought to be predictive of body composition. However, this evidence is mixed and recently a case against such a connection was made (Veillard & Vincent, 2020). Two studies (N = 384 and 401) explored the potential relationships between discounting for money, weight loss, and food rewards to body mass index or waist-to-height ratio measures. Three forms of models were considered: that discounting and body composition are correlated, that there is a main effect of discounting once the role of age upon body composition is accounted for, or that discounting moderates the rate of weight gain over time. A consistent lack of evidence was found for any connection between discounting (of multiple commodities) and body composition (measured in 2 ways). While some measure of impulsivity may well relate to body composition, our findings suggest that temporal discounting specifically may not be predictive of body composition.

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