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Appetite. 2007 Nov;49(3):618-25. Epub 2007 Apr 11.

Perceived parental control of food intake is related to external, restrained and emotional eating in 7-12-year-old boys and girls.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Psychology, Institute for Gender Studies and Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, 6500 HE Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


This study examined the prevalence of external, restrained and emotional eating and the relationship of these disturbed types of eating behaviours with perceived parental control of food intake (pressure to eat and restriction) in a group of 7- to 12-year-old boys and girls (n = 596). External eating turned out to be the most prevalent disturbed eating behaviour for boys and girls, followed by restrained eating and emotional eating. Sex differences were found in external and restrained eating. For the boys, perceived pressure to eat was positively related to emotional and external eating. For both sexes, perceived restriction to eat was negatively related to emotional and external eating and positively related to restrained eating. This led to the conclusion that perceived pressure to eat has a disruptive effect on a child's self-regulating mechanism of food intake, particularly so for boys, whereas perceived restriction can also have a positive effect.

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