A preliminary investigation of sex differences and the mediational role of food thought suppression in the relationship between stress and weight cycling

Brief Report

DOI: 10.1007/BF03325308

Cite this article as:
Barnes, R.D. & Tantleff-Dunn, S. Eat Weight Disord (2010) 15: 265. doi:10.1007/BF03325308


Despite improvements in weight loss treatment efficacy, research demonstrates that most people are unable to maintain weight loss over time. Individuals who utilize avoidant coping methods are less successful at maintaining weight loss than those who directly cope with stressors. Thought suppression, or trying to avoid certain thoughts, could be considered cognitive avoidance. Therefore, the current study evaluated the unexplored relationship among stress, food thought suppression, and weight cycling. Overweight and obese community individuals (N=347) completed self-report measures of thought suppression, weight history, and stress. Food thought suppression fully mediated the relationship between stress and weight cycling in women and approached significance for men. Results have implications for improving weight loss maintenance and support further exploration of third wave interventions, such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Mindfulness, in the treatment of obesity.

Key words

Thought suppression food thought suppression eating weight overweight obesity weight cycling weight regain stress 

Copyright information

© Editrice Kurtis 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Central Florida, Laboratory for the Study of Eating, Appearance, and Health, Department of PsychologyUniversity of Central FloridaOrlandoUSA
  2. 2.Eating Disorders and Obesity Research Program, Department of PsychiatryYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA

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