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Int J Eat Disord. 2000 Nov;28(3):272-83.

Effects of acute food deprivation on eating behavior in eating disorders.

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Department of Psychology, University of Dundee, Dundee, Scotland.



Effects of acute food deprivation on eating behavior in bulimic patients and controls were investigated. It was predicted that food deprivation would increase overall food intake and result in overeating in bulimics.


Following 19 hr of food deprivation (in which breakfast and lunch were skipped), or no deprivation, food intake was measured in 9 inpatients with anorexia nervosa (binge eating/purging subtype, ANB), 10 inpatient (BN/in) and 9 outpatient (BN/out) normal-weight bulimics, and 11 unrestrained and 10 restrained controls.


A general trend for increased food intake following deprivation was found. However, only BN/in patients consumed significantly more and selected higher energy foods following deprivation. ANB patients demonstrated the greatest degree of variability in intake and the least magnitude of change in ratings as a function of eating.


A period of acute food deprivation did not trigger marked eating pathology as evidenced by overconsumption. Chronic dietary restraint may be a more potent precipitating factor in overeating than absolute number of hours of food restriction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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