Original Research Paper

Eating and Weight Disorders - Studies on Anorexia, Bulimia and Obesity

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 27-34

Cue reactivity in male restrained eaters: The role of negative cognitions as predictors of food intake

  • Anja HilbertAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Clinical Psychology and Psychological Therapy, Philipps University of Marburg Email author 
  • , C. VögeleAffiliated withSchool of Human and Life Sciences, Clinical and Health Psychology Research Centre, Whitelands College, Roehampton University
  • , U. HimmelmannAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Clinical Psychology and Psychological Therapy, Philipps University of Marburg

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: While restrained eating is one of the most well-established risk factors of eating disorders in females, its role for eating disturbances in males remains largely unclear. The present study investigates eating behaviour in response to food cues and negative cognitions in male restrained eaters. METHODS: Twenty-four restrained eaters and 21 unrestrained eaters volunteered in a cue reactivity experiment consisting of two exposure trials with and without response prevention. Food and macronutrient intake were monitored, and negative cognitions were assessed using a self-report cognition inventory. RESULTS: Male restrained eaters consumed a larger amount of food, specifically carbohydrates, than unrestrained eaters. This greater food intake was predicted by negative cognitions about self-esteem and occurred in restrained eaters who had reported binge eating episodes in the diagnostic interview. DISCUSSION: Results suggest marked cue reactivity in male restrained eaters with an increased risk of overeating in those who experience low situational self-esteem and who are binge eaters.

Key words

Restrained eating binge eating eating disorders cue exposure cue reactivity negative cognitions men gender differences