Influence of dietary macronutrient composition on eating behaviour and self-perception in young women undergoing weight management
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- Cheng, H.L., Griffin, H., Claes, BE. et al. Eat Weight Disord (2014) 19: 241. doi:10.1007/s40519-014-0110-y
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The control of eating behaviours such as hunger and disinhibition is problematic for women during weight management. Higher-protein (HP) diets have been shown to promote greater weight reduction than higher-carbohydrate (HC) diets, but their impact on eating behaviours is relatively unexplored. This study compared two iso-energetically restricted (5,600 kJ/day) diets differing in protein (HP: 32 %, HC: 20 %) and carbohydrate (HP: 41 %, HC: 58 %) on appetite ratings, restraint, disinhibition, perceived hunger and binge eating in 36 (HP: n = 21, HC: n = 15) young (18–25 years), healthy women with BMI ≥27.5 kg/m2 who completed a 12-month clinical weight management trial. Dietary compliance and self-worth were also assessed. Results showed that both diets induced improvements in restraint and disinhibition from baseline (p < 0.01), with HP participants losing a non-significantly greater amount of weight than HC participants (HP: 9.6 ± 2.6, HC: 4.1 ± 1.4 kg, p = 0.07). Despite reasonable compliance, no significant appetite and eating behaviour differences were observed between the diets. Reduction in disinhibition (regardless of diet) significantly predicted weight loss (β = 0.574, p < 0.001) and self-worth improvement (β = −0.463, p = 0.002), while HP intake predicted greater self-worth change (β = −0.371, p = 0.011). This study demonstrates that young women can improve restraint and disinhibition on a weight management programme, with the reduction in disinhibition shown to be a key predictor of weight loss. HP intake may offer some advantage for increasing self-worth but not eating behaviours. As HP diets are popular, these findings warrant confirmation in a larger sample.