The NHS should adopt a brain training program to combat the growing obesity crisis in Britain, experts say.
Researchers at Cardiff University claim that cravings for chips, chocolate and candy can be moistened with the & # 39; go / no-go & # 39; technique.
It works by teaching a person to press a button when he is shown an image of a healthy food in a series of lessons.
It is believed that this rewires the brain and improves one's will power. However, the underlying mechanisms are not entirely clear.
It has been proven that the technique causes weight loss and can therefore one day be a cost-effective intervention delivered in a smartphone app.
The scientists are launching a large-scale trial in the UK that will ask participants to follow their weight while using go / no-go technology.
One in three adults in the UK is overweight or obese and the government is under pressure to implement strategies to help people lose weight.
Researchers at Cardiff University claim that craving for chips, chocolate and candy can be moistened with the & # 39; go / no-go & # 39; technique that trains the brain
Despite the fact that they are aware of what a healthy diet is, people tend to slip again and again when they decide to start a diet.
Cardiff experts call it the & # 39; intent-behavioral gap & # 39 ;, which reflects the swaths of people who, although wishing to lose weight, are unable to engage in diet and & # 39; sabotage & # 39; to keep.
Dr. Lindsay Walker and colleagues say that brain training can be the missing puzzle piece to improve people's decision making.
Known as & # 39; stimulating & # 39; interventions, they strengthen people's own decision making so that they become consistent with their own goals.
Professor Christopher Chambers said: & # 39; People sometimes complain about the & # 39; nanny state & # 39; that tells people what to eat or tries to control their eating behavior.
& # 39; And so policies that force people to change their behavior can be counterproductive.
& # 39; Stimulate interventions that work differently – they are more like gym training than food police and should be more acceptable. & # 39;
An example is & # 39; go / no-go training & # 39; or GNGT, which has been shown to change people's behavior in response to unhealthy foods, especially those with a lot of fat, sugar and salt.
During training, an image of a food is displayed on the screen next to a cue. If the food is healthy, the cue is & # 39; go & # 39; and the participant must press a button.
If the food is unhealthy, the choice is & # 39; no-go & # 39; and the participant must not press the button. They are not physically punished for doing it wrong.
Researchers at Cardiff University claim that cravings for chips, chocolate and candy can be moistened with the & # 39; go / no-go & # 39; technique. They are launching a large test of an app that uses the technology. Participants can personalize their experience by selecting foods from which they want to eat more and less that they want to include in their training
During training, an image of a food is displayed on the screen next to a cue. If the food is healthy, the cue is & # 39; go & # 39; and the participant must press a button. Pictured, the app
GNG training has been demonstrated in various studies to reduce people's craving for unhealthy food and even lead to weight loss.
For example, one study found that participants ate less chocolate the morning after the training, which showed that chocolate was a & # 39; no-go & # 39; food, compared to participants who did not receive the training.
A similar result has been demonstrated for chips and candy up to 24 hours after a training session.
One study showed that the training reduced daily calorie intake by 200, and another cut snacking on calorie foods by up to 20 percent.
The team wrote in the Royal Society Open Science magazine: & # 39; Many people are still struggling to change health-related behaviors, despite the awareness, intention and ability to make the changes.
& # 39; GNG training appeared to change the food evaluation of people who are considered morbidly obese. & # 39;
Professor Chambers said: & We know that they can make certain foods less attractive. Certain stimulating interventions can lead to people devaluing & # 39; & # 39;
The researchers, who wrote their article in response to a call from the Government of Wales, said that GNG is a valuable and cost-effective strategy for policymakers to use.
They also say that people with weight loss are open to psychological interventions because they have their own & # 39; expired & # 39; get tired of it.
Professor Chambers said: & # 39; Smartphones are the most promising way to deliver stimulating interventions to encourage healthy eating, since most adults have a smartphone and they can be used at times when we all have a few minutes left, such as on the shuttle to work. & # 39;
In the aftermath of the policy paper, a major process was initiated Restrain is being launched to test stimulating interventions in around 50,000 people.
They are asked to train for five to ten minutes every day for three months, while weighing themselves weekly.
WHAT IS GO / NO-GO TRAINING?
& # 39; Go / no-go & # 39; training is a cognitive technique to temper unhealthy desire.
It works by telling people to press a button when they see healthy food images, and not to press when they see unhealthy food images.
These repeated reactions make it easier for them to recognize which food is considered unhealthy and even lose weight.
A small number of studies have shown that it consumes the amount of unhealthy food in both children and adults.
A study, conducted in 2014 by researchers in the Netherlands, asked participants to practice the training four times in four weeks. They lost as much as the weight they put on a diet. But the participants were not followed up to assess the long-term effects.
The reasons why the technique works is not so clear. It may be that it creates an automatic & # 39; stop & # 39; association with certain foods. It can increase a person's impulse control, but this has not been properly investigated.
During the training, go or no-go signals are shown in addition to images of different food items.
Participants are told to press a button when a & # 39; go & # 39; rescue is present and not to press the button when the & # 39; no-go & # 39; -cue is present.
Images are displayed consistently with the signals and the training is easy to perform.
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