Date of Award

1992

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Donald A. Williamson

Abstract

The effects of control (dieting) and loss of control over eating (overeating) on resting metabolic rate (RMR) were examined in a sample of 44 normal premenopausal women. A 2 (Restraint: High and Low) x 2 (Disinhibition: High and Low) design was utilized. Subjects were selected by their scores on the restraint and disinhibition scales of Three Factor Eating Questionnaire (Stunkard & Messick, 1985). The four groups were: women who alternated between dieting and overeating (HR/HD); women who dieted without overeating (HR/LD); women who did not diet or overeat (LR/LD); and women who did not diet and repeatedly overate (LR/HD). Body composition and resting metabolic rate were examined. Results indicated that subjects who controlled their eating were of normal weight, while those who did not were obese. Subjects in the LR/HD group weighed significantly more (Mean weight = 104 kg), had higher percent body fat, and more fat mass and fat-free mass than did the other groups. While weight was not significantly different across the other groups, percent fat, fat mass, and fat-free mass of HR/HD subjects was higher than that of LR/LD subjects. Percent body fat, fat mass, and fat-free mass of HR/LD subjects were similar to that of HR/HD and LR/LD subjects. Corresponding, LR/HD subjects had higher resting metabolic rates than the other groups. The resting metabolic rates of HR/HD subjects were higher than that of LR/LD subjects. The resting metabolic rates of HR/LD subjects were similar to those of HR/HD and LR/LD subjects. When differences in body composition and age were statistically controlled, group differences in RMR were significantly attenuated. There were no differences between the groups in energy intake or expenditure. Weight history, psychological, and behavioral variables were also examined. Overall results indicated that loss of control of eating was the predominant variable affecting fatness. Implications of these findings for obesity research and the utility of the construct of dietary restraint were discussed.

Pages

185

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