Nonregulation of food intake in restrained, emotional, and external eaters

  • Anita Jansen
  • Jaap Oosterlaan
  • Harald Merckelbach
  • Marcel van den Hout


In the present study, regulation of ice cream intake after a preload was examined in 20 high and 20 low scorers (median split) on subscales of the Restraint Scale (RS) (Herman, Polivy, Pliner, Threshold, & Munic, 1978) and the Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire (DEBQ) (van Strien, 1986). For each subscale it was hypothesized that low scorers would regulate their ice cream intake. High scorers on “disinhibitive” scales (i.e., the RS and the DEBQ-emotional and -external subscales) were expected to counterregulate after a preload. In contrast, high scorers on the “inhibitive” DEBQ-restraint scale were expected to regulate their ice cream intake. A robust effect was found: high scorers never regulated ice cream intake after a preload on either the disinhibitive or the inhibitive scales, while low scorers always did. For the RS a significant interaction effect was found [F(1,39)=4.97, p=.03]. None of the other subscales showed interaction effects. The t tests showed that low scorers on all subscales ate significantly less after a preload than without one, while high scorers on all subscales did not differ in intake after a preload or without one. This nonregulation appears to be characteristic of people preoccupied with caloric intake, regardless of the content of the preoccupation.

Key words

nonregulation of food intake restrained eating external eating emotional eating 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anita Jansen
    • 1
  • Jaap Oosterlaan
    • 1
  • Harald Merckelbach
    • 1
  • Marcel van den Hout
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mental Health Sciences/Experimental PsychologyLimburg UniversityMD MaastrichtThe Netherlands

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