Counterregulatory eating behavior in multiple item test meals

Jennifer R Shapiro, Drew A Anderson
Eating Behaviors 2005, 6 (2): 169-78
Restrained eaters have been shown to disinhibit their eating when under stressful situations. However, the majority of laboratory studies that have demonstrated this effect utilized a single test food, typically ice cream. There is a lack of research investigating if this interaction is still evident when multiple foods are offered, and if so, the food choices that restrained and non-restrained eaters make when under stressful situations. The present study examined the impact of stress on food choices in individuals with varying degrees of restraint. Several classes of foods were offered (i.e., high fat/high sugar; low fat/high sugar; high fat/low sugar; low fat/low sugar). A total of 153 females were randomly assigned to either a stress or no-stress situation, and then both groups participated in a taste test. There was no significant difference in total amount of consumption between restrained and non-restrained eaters when under stress. However, further analyses found that restrained eaters under stress consumed more potato chips than those who were not under stress. Findings are discussed in terms of possible limitations of the stress-induced eating paradigm for restrained eaters.

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