Associations between Restrained Eating and the Size and Frequency of Overall Intake, Meal, Snack and Drink Occasions in the UK Adult National Diet and Nutrition Survey.PLoS One. 2016; 11(5):e0156320.Plos
Obesity is a global public health priority. Restrained eating is related to obesity and total energy intake but associations with the eating patterns are unclear. We examined the associations of restrained eating with the size and frequency of intake occasions among 1213 British adult (19-64 y) participants in a cross-sectional analysis of the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey 2000. The Dutch Eating Behaviour Questionnaire assessed restrained eating. Overall intake occasions were all energy consumed in a 60 min period. A food-based classification separated intake occasions into meals, snacks, or drinks from seven-day weighed food diaries. Average daily frequency and size (kcal) of overall intake, meal, snack and drink occasions were calculated and associations with restrained eating were modelled using multiple linear regression including under-reporting of energy intake, age, gender, BMI, emotional eating, external eating and physical activity as covariates. Restrained eating was very weakly positively correlated with overall intake (r = 0.08, p<0.05) and meal frequency (r = 0.10, p<0.05) but not snack or drink frequency (r = 0.02 and -0.02 respectively). Adjusted regressions showed a one-point change in restrained eating was associated with 0.07 (95% CI 0.03, 0.11) more meal occasions/day and 0.13 (95% CI 0.01, 0.25) extra overall intake occasions/day. Overall intake occasion size was weakly negatively correlated with restrained eating regardless of type (r = -0.16 to -0.20, all p<0.0001). Adjusted regressions showed each one-point increase in restrained eating was associated with lower-energy meals (-15 kcal 95% CI -5.9, -24.2) and drinks (-4 kcal 95%CI -0.1, -8), but not snacks or overall intake occasions. Among a national sample of UK adults, greater restrained eating was associated with smaller and slightly more frequent eating, suggesting that restrained eaters restrict their energy intake by reducing meal/drink size rather than skipping snacks.