Nisbett's (1972) model of obesity implies that individual differences in relative deprivation (relative to set-point weight) within obese and normal weight groups should produce corresponding within-group differences in eating behavior. Normal weight subjects were separated into hypothetically deprived (high restraint) and non-deprived (low restraint) groups. The expectation that high restraint subjects' intake would vary directly with preload size while low restraint subjects would eat in inverse proportion to preload size, was confirmed. It was concluded that relative deprivation rather than obesity per se may be the cirtical determinant of individual differences in eating behavior. Consideration was given to the concept of "restraint" as an important behavioral mechanism affecting the expression of physiologically-based hungar.