Purpose: Existing measures to assess restrictive eating conflate both problematic and healthy restrictive practices, and perceived restriction without reduced caloric intake. In this study, we devised and tested the utility of a single-item screener, the Dietary Restriction Screener (DRS), to assess problematic restriction. Methods: 94 individuals completed the DRS and measures assessing eating disorder symptoms, preoccupations, and rituals. Participants were given access to an ad libitum single-item test snack. Linear regressions were conducted to evaluate whether the DRS predicted eating disorder symptoms and snack intake after controlling for relevant covariates and a commonly used restraint scale. Results: The DRS significantly predicted eating disorder symptoms (p < 0.001), preoccupations (p < 0.001), rituals (p = 0.001), and snack intake (p = 0.017) above covariates and an existing restraint scale. Conclusions: The DRS may offer added utility in predicting problematic dietary restriction over existing measures and is beneficial due to its brevity and low burden.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Research reported in this publication was partially supported by a pre-doctoral training fellowship awarded to Ann Haynos by the National Institute of Mental Health under Award Number F31MH097450. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
© 2014, Springer International Publishing Switzerland.