Anticipatory and reactive responses to chocolate restriction in frequent chocolate consumers

Chelsey L Keeler, Purdue University


Many individuals have difficulty adhering to a weight loss diet. One possible explanation could be that dietary restriction paradoxically contributes to overconsumption. The objective of this study was to examine ingestive behavior under a forced chocolate restriction, with a focus on the anticipatory restriction period and the post-restriction period in frequent chocolate consumers. Fifty-six male (N=18) and female (N=38) high chocolate consumers with high or low cognitive disinhibition aged 27.70 ± 11.09 years with a mean BMI of 25.68± 5.92 kg/m2 participated. Chocolate snacks were provided for the first, second, and sixth week of the study to establish baseline, pre-restriction and post-restriction consumption respectively. Chocolate snacks were replaced with non-chocolate snacks during a three week chocolate restriction period. Highly disinhibited participants felt more guilty and consumed significantly more energy than low disinhibited participants across multiple snack conditions. Low disinhibited participants consumed significantly less in the post-restriction period compared to baseline and the pre-restriction period, while high disinhibited participants consumed the same amount across all conditions. Aggregating the data, high and low disinhibited chocolate consumers ate snacks more frequently in the pre-and post-restriction periods compared to the baseline period. This study suggests that for some individuals, i.e., those that exhibit high disinhibition and feelings of guilt about snacking, restriction of chocolate may be contraindicated for energy restriction and weight management.




Mattes, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Food Science|Behavioral psychology

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