Restrained Eating and Food Cues: Recent Findings and Conclusions
- 945 Downloads
Purpose of Review
The purposes of the present review are to organize the recent literature on the effects of food cues on restrained and unrestrained eaters and to determine current directions in such work.
Research over the last several years involves both replicating the work showing that restrained eaters respond to attractive food cues by eating more but unrestrained eaters show less responsiveness and extending this work to examine the mechanisms that might underlie this differential responsiveness. Labeling a food as healthy encourages more eating by restrained eaters, while diet-priming cues seem to curtail their consumption even in the face of attractive food cues. Work on cognitive responses indicates that restrained (but not unrestrained) eaters have both attention and memory biases toward food cues.
Restrained eaters attend more strongly to food- and diet-related cues than do unrestrained eaters, as evidenced in both their eating behavior and their attention and memory responses to such cues. These effects interact with expectations and manner of presentation of such cues. What remains to be understood is the meaning and mechanism of the attention bias toward food cues in restrained eaters and the implications of such bias for overeating and overweight more broadly speaking.
KeywordsRestrained eaters Food cues Attention bias Diet-priming cues Eating behavior
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Janet Polivy & C. Peter Herman declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance
- 5.Herman CP, Polivy J. The self-regulation of eating: theoretical and practical problems. In: Vohs KD, Baumeister RF, editors. Handbook of self-regulation: research, theory, and applications. 2nd ed. New York: Guilford; 2011. p. 522–36.Google Scholar
- 23.• Buckland NJ, Finlayson G, Edge R, Hetherington M. Resistance reminders: dieters reduce energy intake after exposure to diet-congruent food images compared to control non-food images. Appetite. 2014;73:189–96. Demonstrates that the usual increased eating by dieters exposed to food cues can be curtailed by diet-related food images.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 26.• Herman CP, Polivy J, Pliner P, Vartanian LR. Mechanisms underlying the portion-size effect. Physiol Behav. 2015;144:129–36. A theoretical review discussing the underlying mechanisms for the well-documented portion size effect, and presenting more convincing alternatives to the prevailing “appropriateness” view.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 34.Higgs S, Dolmans D, Humphreys GW, Rutters F. Dietary self-control influences top–down guidance of attention to food cues. Front Psychol. 2015.Google Scholar
- 40.• Werthmann J, Jansen A, Roefs A. Worry or craving? A selective review of evidence for food-related attention biases in obese individuals, eating-disorder patients, restrained eaters and healthy samples. Proc Nutr Soc. 2015;74:99–114. A review examining whether obesity, eating disorders, and restrained eating are related to attention biases for food and if this affects food consumption, which concludes that motivations are also important influences.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 47.• Stroebe W, Von Koningsbruggen GM, Papies EK, Aarts H. Why most dieters fail but some succeed: a goal conflict model of eating behavior. Psychol Rev. 2013;120:110–38. Presents a new theory to explain why dieters so often fail to meet their goals, proposing a model of conflicting goals for weight control versus eating enjoyment.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar