Unhealthy snacking : an exploration of the theory of planned behaviour, impulsivity, reward sensitivity and BMI.

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Sheridan, Sabrina
Issue Date
Higher Diploma in Arts in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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Given the recent rise in obesity and high prevalence of unhealthy snacking this study aimed to explore the efficacy of the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) model in predicting intentions to reduce unhealthy snacking. Personality constructs: impulsivity and reward sensitivity were explored for correlations with intentions, snacking and BMI. Participants (N=178) included yoga and social networking members and retail administrators. Measures included: the TPB, BIS-11, BAS Scale and snacking frequency. A mixed-quantitative designed found that attitudes and perceived behavioural control (PBC) explained 22% of the variance in intentions. Reward sensitivity explained an additional 2% and was positively related to BMI. PBC was significantly related to snacking and BMI. There were no significant results for social norms or impulsivity. This study validates the utility of the TPB as an intervention to diminish unhealthy snacking. Conversely findings suggest that impulsivity is not necessarily an integral factor of Irish adult snacking. Author keywords: Theory of Planned Behaviour, unhealthy snacking, impulsivity, reward sensitivity, BMI