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Int J Eat Disord. 1997 Mar;21(2):137-45.

The effect of a reduced energy diet and meal patterns on smoking and coffee drinking in women.

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  • 1University of Minnesota Department of Psychology, USA.



We examined the effect of three feeding conditions on cigarette smoking and coffee drinking in four healthy women. We hypothesized that food deprivation and changes in meal patterns would increase rates of smoking and coffee drinking based on extensive animal literature documenting this effect.


The conditions were: normal three meals per day containing usual energy intake, one meal per day (dinner time) containing 50% of usual energy intake, and three meals per day containing 50% of usual energy intake. Each condition lasted 3 days.


Neither reduction of energy intake nor alteration in the pattern of meals had any observable effect on number of cigarettes smoked, number of cups of coffee consumed, expired air carbon monoxide levels, or urges to smoke or drink coffee.


This study adds to the growing body of literature suggesting that the food deprivation effect observed in animals does not apply readily to humans. Reasons for the absence of this effect are discussed.

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