Comparison of Temporal Discounting Among Obese College Students and Obese Adults

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Abstract

During the past decade the field of delay discounting has grown rapidly and has targeted many topics of social importance. Recently, comparison research on obesity has emerged, yet few published articles have measured multiple qualifiers within obesity. Therefore, in the present study 38 individuals were assigned to 1 of 4 groups based on 2 criteria: age and weight. The criterion for obesity used the body mass index (BMI) scale and identified 2 age groups that ranged between 18 to 27 and 45 to 55 years old, respectively. Each group completed a delay discounting procedure that measured the varying degrees of delay across several hypothetical choices of money along with psychometrics and demographic information. Current findings showed statistical evidence that the obese sample was more impulsive than matched controls, which replicates and extends current research on discounting trends in obese samples. Moreover, we found a negative relationship between age and discounting: as age increases, discounting decreases. Implications for monetary outcome discounting across obese individuals are also addressed.

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