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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Dietary Guidelines Adherence and Healthy Body Weight Maintenance Title: Interactive effects of dietary restraint and adiposity on stress-induced eating and the food choice of children

Authors
item Roemmich, James
item Lambiase, Maya -
item Lobarinas, Christina -
item Balanteki, Katerine -

Submitted to: Eating Behaviors
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 19, 2011
Publication Date: July 24, 2011
Citation: Roemmich, J.N., Lambiase, M.J., Lobarinas, C.L., Balanteki, K.N. 2011. Interactive effects of dietary restraint and adiposity on stress-induced eating and the food choice of children. Eating Behaviors. 12:309-312.

Interpretive Summary: Individual differences in physiological and psychological factors explain eating behaviors in response to stress. The study determined the effects of individual differences in adiposity, dietary restraint and stress reactivity on children's energy intake and food choices. A total of 40 boys and girls, age 8–12 years, with wide ranges of dietary restraint, adiposity, and stress reactivity were measured for eating behavior and choice of energy dense ‘comfort’ and lower density ‘healthy’ foods after reading and after an interpersonal speech stressor. The results were dependent on the interaction of dietary restraint and stress reactivity. Children with lower restraint/lower reactivity and lower restraint/higher reactivity consumed fewer total (37–62 kcal) and comfort food (33–89 kcal) calories. Those children with higher restraint/lower reactivity consumed 86 fewer total kcal and 45 fewer kcal of comfort food when stressed. Only children with higher restraint/higher reactivity increased energy intake (104 kcal) and comfort food (131 kcal) when stressed. The interaction of dietary restraint and percentage body fat revealed that children with lower restraint/lower adiposity consumed 123 fewer kcal after being stressed with the entire reduction due to a decrease in eating of comfort food. Children with lower restraint/higher adiposity consumed 116 kcal more after being stressed with 70% (81 kcal) of the increase in the form of comfort foods. Those children with higher restraint/lower adiposity and higher restraint/higher adiposity had smaller changes in total energy intake of 22 kcal and 1 kcal; respectively. Both restraint and adiposity moderated the effect of stress on energy intake and food choice. Children with greater adiposity may be at risk for stress-induced eating to contribute to their obesity.

Technical Abstract: The Individual Differences Model posits that individual differences in physiological and psychological factors explain eating behaviors in response to stress. The purpose was to determine the effects of individual differences in adiposity, dietary restraint and stress reactivity on children's energy intake and food choices. A total of 40 boys and girls, age 8–12 years, with wide ranges of dietary restraint, adiposity, and stress reactivity were measured for total energy intake and choice of energy dense ‘comfort’ and lower density ‘healthy’ foods following reading and speech stressor manipulations. When exploring the interaction of dietary restraint and stress reactivity, lower restraint/lower reactivity and lower restraint/higher reactivity were associated with reductions in energy intake (37–62 kcal) and comfort food (33–89 kcal). Higher restraint/lower reactivity was associated with consuming 86 fewer total kcal and 45 fewer kcal of comfort food. Only higher restraint/higher reactivity predicted increased energy intake (104 kcal) and comfort food (131 kcal). The interaction of dietary restraint and percentage body fat revealed that lower restraint/lower adiposity was associated with consuming 123 fewer kcal after being stressed with the entire reduction due to a decrease in comfort food. Lower restraint/higher adiposity was associated with consuming 116 kcal more after being stressed with 70% (81 kcal) of the increase in the form of comfort foods. Higher restraint/lower adiposity and higher restraint/higher adiposity were associated with smaller changes in total energy intake of 22 kcal and 1 kcal; respectively. Both restraint and adiposity moderated the effect of stress on energy intake and food choice. Children with greater adiposity may be at risk for stress-induced eating to contribute to their obesity.

Last Modified: 8/22/2014