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J Abnorm Psychol. 1989 Nov;98(4):499-503.

Effects of dietary restraint, obesity, and gender on holiday eating behavior and weight gain.


This investigation evaluated the impact of dietary restraint, relative weight, and gender on holiday eating behavior and weight gain. 65 Ss (31 men and 34 women) completed detailed food records for the 2 days before, the 4 days during, and the 2 days after the Thanksgiving weekend. Results indicated increased eating during the Thanksgiving holiday, with men eating more than women and the obese eating less than the nonobese. There was also a significant Total Restraint X Weight X Time interaction, with unrestrained normal-weight subjects behaving similarly to high-restrained overweight subjects over time. There was also a highly reliable Total Restraint X Sex X Time interaction. The most striking finding from this interaction was that high-restrained women displayed decreases in their dietary intake over time. Correlational analyses revealed that restraint scores were negatively associated with dietary intake over the 8-day period but were positively associated with weight gain. The implications for dieting, eating behavior, and energy balance are discussed.

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