Dietary restraint, anxiety, and the relative reinforcing value of snack food in non-obese women.
Sommaire de l'article
This study tested the independent and interactive effects of anxiety and dietary restraint on the relative reinforcing value of snack food. Thirty non-obese, female university students were assigned to one of four groups based on median split scores on measures of dietary restraint and state-anxiety: low-restraint/low-anxiety (n=7), low-restraint/high-anxiety (n=7), high-restraint/low-anxiety (n=9), and high-restraint/high-anxiety (n=7). Participants were provided the choice to earn points for palatable snack foods or fruits and vegetables using a computerized concurrent schedules choice task. The behavioural cost to gain access to snack foods increased across trials, whereas the cost to gain access to fruits and vegetables was held constant across trials. The relative reinforcing value of palatable snack food in relation to fruits and vegetables was defined as the total amount of points earned for snack food. Two-way analysis of covariance, with hunger and hedonic snack food ratings as covariates, showed that dietary restraint and anxiety had a significant interactive effect on the relative reinforcing value of snack food, indicating that the effect of anxiety on snack food reinforcement is moderated by dietary restraint. Specifically, the high-anxiety/low-restraint women found snack food significantly less reinforcing than low-anxiety/low-restraint women, but no differences emerged between high- and low-anxiety women with high-restraint. Neither restraint nor anxiety had an independent effect on the relative reinforcing value of snack food. These findings indicate that anxiety may have a suppressive effect on the relative reinforcing value of snack food in low-restrained eaters, but not an enhancing effect on snack food reinforcement in high-restrained eaters. Clinical implications of these findings are discussed.
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov’t