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Appetite. 1991 Apr;16(2):149-58.

Restrained eating, obesity, and cumulative food intake curves during four-course meals.

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Department of Natural Sciences, Open University, Heerlen, The Netherlands.


A four-course meal was presented to six obese and 18 normal weight women in which the second course was eaten ad libitum and the other three courses were fixed in amount. Eating behaviour was observed directly and intake was monitored via an electronic scale built into the table under the plate. Intake deceleration was observed in the normal weight women who scored low on the Herman-Polivy (1980) restraint questionnaire and on the cognitive restraint factor (F1) of Stunkard and Messick's (1985) questionnaire, whereas the normal weight and obese restrained women displayed linear cumulative food intake. In all groups, if deceleration occurred in the second course it was usually identical in the third and fourth courses, and constant eating rate persisted from the second course to the later courses. Food-specific eating rates were positively correlated to relative palatability, and removed deviation from linearity in cumulative intake over the four courses.

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