Dieting Discrepancy: Behavioral Differences Between Restrained Eaters and Dieters

Dieting has previously been agreed upon as a risk factor for eating disorder pathology but the mechanisms which underly this relationship are unclear. One barrier to understanding this relationship is that dieting is often measured incorrectly. Dieting is often measured by assessing dietary restraint (restrained eating). Restraint, however, is conceptually different than dieting. To understand the link between dieting and eating disorder pathology, differences between restraint and dieting should be understood. One gap in the literature is the lack of information on the dieting behavior profiles of dieters compared to restrained eaters. The current study had participants (N = 109) complete measures assessing restraint, dieting status, and usage of various dieting behaviors (e.g. fasting). Results indicated dieters and restrained eaters had significantly different dieting behavior profiles. This suggests that important behavioral differences between restrained eaters and dieters; subsequently understanding the usage of these behaviors may be important for understanding pathology.

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