The Impact of caloric preloading on attempts at food and eating-related thought suppression in restrained and unrestrained eaters




The current study examined the impact of dietary restraint and caloric preload on thought suppression in a sample of 64 college females classified as either restrained or unrestrained eaters.


Participants engaged in a 60-min laboratory session. One half of the participants were preloaded with a high-calorie milkshake and all participants were randomly assigned to a food and eating-related thought suppression condition or a no suppression control condition. Food-related thoughts were assessed with a digital counter and verbal references to food were tracked with an audio recorder.


Restrained participants instructed to suppress food-related thoughts demonstrated significantly more food and eating-related thoughts than unrestrained participants. Preloading was associated with an increase in the frequency of indirect mentions to food and eating.


Although the hypothesized “rebound” effect did not occur for any study groups, these findings indicate that both restraint status and preloading impact food and eating-related thoughts. © 2005 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.