Purpose: The present study evaluated the cross-section and prospective associations between the Eating Inventory's (EI) total, flexible and rigid dietary restraint scales and changes in weight and behaviors in a community sample of adults enrolled in a 3 y weight gain prevention study.
Methods: Subjects were participants in the Pound of Prevention (POP) study, a community-based weight gain prevention trial.
Results: Higher levels of baseline total, flexible and rigid dietary restraint were related to lower weight and more weight-controlling behaviors at the baseline assessment. Baseline restraint measures positively predicted increases in weighing frequency over the 3 y follow-up. Increases in restraint over the follow-up period were related to decreases in weight, energy intake and television watching, and increases in self-weighing and physical activity.
Conclusion: The EI's total, flexible and rigid restraint scales were not differently associated with weight and behaviors in this heterogeneous sample of adults who were attempting to lose weight. Developing methods to increase behavioral and cognitive strategies to control weight may help to prevent weight gain in clinical and community samples.