Impulsive people are less able to inhibit responses. Thus it seems likely that people struggling to maintain a proper weight also struggle to say “no” to tempting high-calorie foods like cake and candy. Is this impulsive nature only with food or also with other areas of life as well?
One interesting study from Maastricht University in the Netherlands looked at 87 females who were tested with general stimuli and also with food-related pictures. A higher body mass index (BMI) was linked more often with impulsivity with food-related photos. No real surprise there. But interestingly, there was no more impulsivity linked with general stimuli in those with higher BMIs.
The authors write: “The implication is that weight loss interventions need to focus on decreasing food-specific impulsivity rather than on reducing general impulsivity.”