Food cravings mediate the relationship between rigid, but not flexible control of eating behavior and dieting success

Appetite. 2011 Dec;57(3):582-4. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2011.07.013. Epub 2011 Jul 29.


Both food cravings and rigid dietary control strategies have been implicated in low dieting success while flexible control often is associated with successful weight loss. An online survey was conducted (N=616) to test the mediational role of food cravings between dietary control strategies and self-perceived dieting success. Food cravings fully mediated the inverse relationship between rigid control and dieting success. Contrarily, flexible control predicted dieting success independently of food cravings, which were negatively associated with dieting success. Differential mechanisms underlie the relationship between rigid and flexible control of eating behavior and dieting success.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Choice Behavior*
  • Diet, Reducing / statistics & numerical data*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Regression Analysis
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult