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Appetite. 1997 Feb;28(1):33-47.

The effect of pre-exposure to food cues on the eating behavior of restrained and unrestrained eaters.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, Canada.


This study investigated the effect of pre-exposure to two types of food cues (olfactory and cognitive) on food intake by restrained and unrestrained eaters. Subjects were exposed to either no cue, an olfactory cue, a cognitive cue or a combination of the two types of food cues for ten minutes prior to eating. Restrained eaters ate significantly more than did unrestrained eaters after exposure to the food cues. There was no difference in food intake when there was no pre-exposure to the cues. Although baseline subjective ratings were equivalent for both groups of subjects, after cue pre-exposure, restrained subjects, in keeping with their increased consumption, indicated a significantly greater craving, liking, and desire to eat the cued food (pizza) than did the unrestrained subjects. These findings suggest that restrained eaters are more sensitive and reactive to food cues than are unrestrained eaters. The food cues appeared to generate an appetitive urge to eat in restrained eaters.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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