Outline and Evaluate Explanations for the Success/Failure in Dieting

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Outline and evaluate explanations for the success/failure in dieting One explanation for the success or failure in dieting can be explained using the “restraint theory.” Restrained eating is a common characteristic of dieting and research shows that 89% of the female population in the UK consciously restrain their food intake in some point of their lives. Herman and Polivy (1894) developed the boundary model in an attempt to explain why dieting may lead to overeating. According to this model, hunger keeps intake of food above a certain minimum, and satiety works to keep intake below some maximum level. Dieters tend to have a larger range between hunger and satiety levels as it takes them longer to feel hungry and more food to satisfy them. Restrained eaters have a self-imposed desired intake. Once they have gone above this boundary they continue to eat until they reach satiety. In support of this theory, Wardle and Beales (1988) looked at 27 obese women and randomly assigned them either to the diet group, the exercise group or the non-treatment group for seven weeks. At four weeks and six weeks all participants were assessed under lab conditions. At week four, food intake and appetite were assessed before and after a “preload”. At week 6, food intake was assessed under stressful conditions. Results showed that at both assessments session’s women in the diet condition ate more than women in the exercise and non-treatment conditions. This supports the boundary model because the study demonstrates that when restraining food intake because of the gap between hungers, its satiety becomes wider, therefore the dieters ate more. The restraint theory proposes an association between food restriction and overeating. However, Ogden (2007) points out that although dieters, bulimics and some anorexics report episodes of overeating, the behaviour of restricting anorexics

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