Emotion regulation training to reduce problematic dietary restriction: An experimental analysis

Ann F. Haynos, Bailey Hill, Alan E. Fruzzetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Evidence suggests that emotion regulation may be a process relevant to problematic dietary restriction. However, emotion regulation has not been evaluated as an intervention target across a range of restriction severity. This study utilized an experimental design to examine whether targeting emotion regulation reduced problematic dietary restriction. Within a self-identified restrictive sample (n = 72), the effects of an emotion regulation condition (i.e., emotion regulation training) were compared to those of a control condition (i.e., nutrition information training) on dietary restriction indices (i.e., effort to reduce intake on a progressive ratio task, work towards an alternate reinforcer on a progressive ratio task, intake by dietary recall) following a stressor. Exploratory analyses of potential moderators (i.e., restraint, BMI, binge eating and purging status, emotion regulation difficulties) were conducted to examine whether these factors affected the impact of training on dietary restriction. No significant main effects of condition were detected on any outcome measure. However, results were moderated by BMI status. Participants with lower BMIs exerted less effort towards dietary restriction following the emotion regulation condition versus the control condition (p = 0.02). Results suggest that targeting emotion regulation may help to reduce problematic dietary restriction among lower weight individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-274
Number of pages10
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd.


  • Dietary restriction
  • Eating disorder anorexia nervosa
  • Emotion regulation


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