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Appetite. 2009 Apr;52(2):380-7. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2008.11.010. Epub 2008 Nov 27.

Eating style, overeating, and overweight in a representative Dutch sample. Does external eating play a role?

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Department of Clinical Psychology, Institute for Gender Studies and Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, P.O. Box 9104, 6500 HE Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


This study examined which individuals in particular are susceptible or resistant to develop overweight in our current obesogenic environment. A cross-sectional study was conducted in a sample of 1342 people representative of the general population in the Netherlands. Overweight-level (normal body weight> or =17.5 BMI [weight in kilograms/height in meters squared, as self-reported] <25) versus overweight ((BMI> or =25)) and overeating, as measured by questionnaire, were assessed in relation to dietary restraint, emotional eating and external eating, as assessed with the Dutch Eating Behaviour Questionnaire. Both dietary restraint and emotional eating moderated the relationship between overconsumption and overweight, but that there was no (positive) main effect or moderator effect for external eating. It was concluded that dietary restraint may prevent people who overeat from getting overweight. An individual's final level of body weight may possibly be determined more by people's tendency toward emotional eating than by people's sensitivity to environmental food cues.

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