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Thesis

The Relationship Between Dieting History and Diet-Related Cognitive Schemata

12 April 2010

Abstract

Although diets are currently the primary treatment for obesity, there are many psychological and physiological barriers to weight loss and maintenance, including the lack of reinforcement one obtains from dietary restriction. The purpose of this study is to investigate the hypothesis that a more extensive dieting history is correlated with more negative thoughts, or schemata, about diets. One hundred fifty participants, including current dieters (28), past dieters (61), and non-dieters (61) took a survey that included questions about dieting history, the Revised Restraint Scale, the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26), and the Diet Schemata Questionnaire. Correlations and one-way analyses of variance (ANOVAs) were conducted, and the study’s main hypothesis was not supported by the data. Contrary to expectation, current dieters had significantly more positive associations with diets than the other groups. Possible explanations for these results, including study limitations, are discussed.


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