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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2010 Oct;18(10):1926-31. doi: 10.1038/oby.2010.36. Epub 2010 Feb 25.

Dietary restraint and control over "wanting" following consumption of "forbidden" food.

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Department of Human Biology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands.


Eating behavior can be influenced by the rewarding value of food, i.e., "liking" and "wanting." The objective of this study was to assess in normal-weight dietary restrained (NR) vs. unrestrained (NU) eaters how rewarding value of food is affected by satiety, and by eating a nonhealthy perceived, dessert-specific food vs. a healthy perceived, neutral food (chocolate mousse vs. cottage cheese). Subjects (24NR age = 25.0 ± 8.2 years, BMI = 22.3 ± 2.1 kg/m(2); 26NU age = 24.8 ± 8.0 years, BMI = 22.1 ± 1.7 kg/m(2)) came to the university twice, fasted (randomized crossover design). Per test-session "liking" and "wanting" for 72 items divided in six categories (bread, filling, drinks, dessert, sweets, stationery (placebo)) was measured, before and after consumption of chocolate mousse/cottage cheese, matched for energy content (5.6 kJ/g) and individual daily energy requirements (10%). Chocolate mousse was liked more than cottage cheese (P < 0.05). After consumption of chocolate mousse or cottage cheese, appetite and "liking" vs. placebo were decreased in NR and NU (P < 0.03), whereas "wanting" was only decreased in NR vs. NU (P ≤ 0.01). In NR vs. NU "wanting" was specifically decreased after chocolate mousse vs. cottage cheese; this decrease concerned especially "wanting" for bread and filling (P < 0.05). To conclude, despite similar decreases in appetite and "liking" after a meal in NR and NU, NR decrease "wanting" in contrast to NU. NR decrease "wanting" specifically for a nonhealthy perceived, "delicious," dessert-specific food vs. a nutritional identical, yet healthy perceived, slightly less "delicious," "neutral" food. A healthy perceived food may thus impose greater risk for control of energy intake in NR.

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