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Appetite. 2002 Feb;38(1):13-7.

Self-reported dietary restraint is associated with elevated levels of salivary cortisol.

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  • 1University at Albany, State University of New York, USA.


Previous studies have found inconsistent relationships between restrained eating, dieting, and cortisol. The present study was designed to clarify the relationship between self-reported restrained eating and cortisol using multiple measures of dietary restraint. Eighty-five college-age women completed the Restraint Scale (RS) and the Cognitive Restraint Scale of the Three Factor Eating Questionnaire (TFEQ-R) and provided a saliva sample for analysis of cortisol. Both measures of restraint were positively associated with elevated levels of salivary cortisol, although the TFEQ-R was more strongly associated than the RS. Restrained eating, characterized by largely unsuccessful efforts to control eating, may lead to elevated cortisol levels.

Copyright 2002 Elseiver Science Ltd.

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