Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Theses & dissertations (College of Business)
This research examines three major research questions: 1) the role of impulsivity and emotional intelligence in restrained eaters' behaviors, 2) if menu calorie labeling will be utilized by restrained eaters to make healthier eating decisions, and 3) if mindful eating can effectively alter a restrained eater's behavior.
Specifically study one examines the role of impulsivity and emotional intelligence in restrained eaters' behavior. Previous research has found restrained eaters to have less healthy eating behaviors than unrestrained eaters. Emotional intelligence has been shown to result in healthier eating behaviors, whereas impulsivity negatively impacts eating behavior.
Results show impulsivity does not moderate the relationship between restraint and unhealthy eating behaviors in this data. More restraint was associated with higher BMI. Restrained eaters are characterized as having episodes of disinhibited eating, which result in weight gain despite constant dieting. Increased emotional intelligence was associated with higher BMI and a higher number of calories selected. Further, increased impulsivity was associated with a higher number of calories selected as well.
Results also indicate that the three commonly used measures of restraint yielded similar results when used separately in the model, indicating they measure the same construct. The Herman and Polivy (1980) restraint scale showed two interaction effects that the Eating Inventory (formerly Three Factor Eating Questionnaire) and the Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire did not.
Study two investigates whether new Affordable Care Act legislation requiring restaurants to provide menu calorie labeling will be effective in reducing the number of calories restrained eaters consume. This legislation has spurred numerous studies on this topic recently. Study two is unique, however, because it uses an eye tracking methodology to investigate this relationship. In this research, restrained eaters were found to dwell on menu calorie information significantly longer than unrestrained eaters.
Finally, study three explores a mindful eating intervention as a method by which to train restrained eaters to make healthier decisions. Recent psychology literature has found mindfulness to be an effective treatment method for numerous disorders, including eating disorders. Results from food diaries completed by participants show restrained eaters report consuming significantly fewer calories than unrestrained eaters.
Moore, Kelly, "Individual differences in restrained eaters" (2014). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 14223.