Dietary restraint and obesity: Their effects on dietary intake

Jill M. Weber, Robert C. Klesges, Lisa M. Klesges

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The current investigation evaluated the effects of levels of restraint, dietary intake, and obesity on both immediate (i.e., in the laboratory) and subsequent (i.e., outside the laboratory) self-reported dietary intake. Subjects were 102 college females, half of whom were given a high-caloric snack of a chocolate milkshake. Subjects were classified according to their level of chronic dieting status and relative weight. Chronic dieting status was measured by utilizing both the Concern for Dieting (CD) and the Weight Fluctuation (WF) factors of the revised restraint scale (Polivy, 1980). When using the WF factor, results indicated that obesity interacted with dieting status on total food consumption (i.e., calories for the entire day). That is, nondieting obese subjects reportedly ate significantly more calories than nondieting normal-weight subjects. Further, nondieting overweight subjects reported eating significantly more than low-restrained normal-weight subjects. On the CD factor, restrained eaters who received a preload reported eating significantly more calories than nondieters at lunch. For those subjects not receiving a milkshake, restrained eaters ate fewer calories at lunch than nondieters. The significance of these results for understanding possible energy imbalances in obese individuals as well as understanding pathological overeating and its consequences is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-199
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1988


  • dietary
  • intake
  • obesity
  • restraint


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