Previous studies have found inconsistent relationships between restrained eating, dieting, and cortisol. The present study was designed to clarify the relationship between self-reported restrained eating and cortisol using multiple measures of dietary restraint. Eighty-five college-age women completed the Restraint Scale (RS) and the Cognitive Restraint Scale of the Three Factor Eating Questionnaire (TFEQ-R) and provided a saliva sample for analysis of cortisol. Both measures of restraint were positively associated with elevated levels of salivary cortisol, although the TFEQ-R was more strongly associated than the RS. Restrained eating, characterized by largely unsuccessful efforts to control eating, may lead to elevated cortisol levels.
Copyright 2002 Elseiver Science Ltd.