Eat it or beat it: the differential effects of food temptations on overweight and normal-weight restrained eaters

Ouwehand, C. and Papies, E. K. (2010) Eat it or beat it: the differential effects of food temptations on overweight and normal-weight restrained eaters. Appetite, 55(1), pp. 56-60. (doi:10.1016/j.appet.2010.04.009) (PMID:20433882)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.


Dieting is difficult to maintain in an environment where cues of attractive, high-calorie food abound. Overweight and restrained eating have been associated with failures of self-regulation in response to such food cues. A subgroup of successful restrained eaters, however, have been found to activate their dieting goal in response to tempting food cues, which helps them to pursue their dieting goal in such situations. The present research extended this finding by examining the effect of tempting food cues on wanting to eat high-calorie snacks in normal-weight and overweight restrained eaters. In an Internet experiment, normal-weight and overweight participants (N = 284) were unobtrusively primed with tempting food or neutral food objects. Next, wanting for high-calorie snacks was assessed with a forced-choice measure presenting pictures of high-calorie snacks and low-calorie alternatives. As predicted, exposure to attractive food cues decreased wanting for high-calorie food in normal-weight restrained eaters, but increased wanting in overweight restrained eaters. These results suggest that, in women who are successful in maintaining their weight, food temptations may trigger processes of successful self-regulation, whereas overweight restrained eaters may seem to forget about their diet goal when they are confronted with attractive food, thereby risking the chance to overeat.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Papies, Dr Esther
Authors: Ouwehand, C., and Papies, E. K.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
Journal Name:Appetite
ISSN (Online):1095-8304

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record