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J Psychosom Res. 2000 Feb;48(2):195-202.

Stress, dietary restraint and food intake.

Author information

1
ICRF Health Behaviour Unit, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, London, UK. j.wardle@ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The purpose of this study was to examine the associations between work stress and nutritional status in relation to dietary restraint in a community sample of adults.

METHODS:

The design included a cross-sectional and a longitudinal study element. Ninety staff members (58 women and 32 men) of a large department store were assessed on four occasions over a 6-month period with measures of diet, weight, and perceived stress. Work stress was indexed in terms of the hours of work over the past 7 days, which provided an objective indicator of demand.

RESULTS:

Participants worked an average of 47 hours on the high-work-stress session compared with 32 hours on the low-work-stress session. The highest work-stress session was compared with the lowest work-stress session in the longitudinal analyses, and the moderating effects of gender and restrained eating were examined. High-workload periods were associated with higher energy and saturated fat and sugar intake. There was a significant moderating effect of restrained eating, with a hyperphagic response to work stress in restrained eaters, compared with no effect in unrestrained eaters.

CONCLUSION:

The results indicate that the associations between restraint and stress-induced eating that have been observed in the laboratory extend to the real-life setting. They raise the possibility that restrained eaters are particularly vulnerable to adverse effects of stress on health, through influences on food intake.

PMID:
10719137
DOI:
10.1016/s0022-3999(00)00076-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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