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Keywords:

  • exposure;
  • forbidden food;
  • restrained women;
  • unrestrained women

Abstract

Objective

The current study explored the effect of availability of a forbidden food on subsequent eating behavior in restrained and unrestrained women.

Method

Thirty restrained and 30 nonrestrained, normal-weight women were assigned randomly to one of two conditions, an experimental group that was exposed to a forbidden food (chocolate) for 24hr or a control group that was given no special intervention. At the end of the exposure period, all subjects completed an intake test of the forbidden food.

Results

Although subjects were instructed not to eat the food provided for the exposure period, women in the restrained group consumed a small quantity of the chocolate, whereas unrestrained women consumed none. Intake at test was greater in the temptation than in the control condition and restrained eaters consumed more than unrestrained eaters in both conditions.

Discussion

The results are discussed in terms of current theories of restrained eating and the possible interrelationships between eating regulation and cognition. © 2003 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 35: 59–68, 2004.