University of Sussex

File(s) not publicly available

Mood-induced eating. Interactive effects of restraint and tendency to overeat.

journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-07, 18:06 authored by Martin YeomansMartin Yeomans, Emma Coughlan
Attempts to induce overeating through mood or stress manipulations in restrained eaters have had mixed success. A previous study in our laboratory suggested that overeating induced by stress was only evident at lunchtime for women who scored high on both the Three Factor Eating Questionnaire (TFEQ) Restraint and Disinhibition scales. Here we extend those findings to examine the effects of induced positive and negative mood on snacking by women classified similarly. Women (n = 96) were provided with snack foods to sample while watching a neutral, positive or negative film. Those scoring high on both TFEQ measures ate most in the Negative affect condition, whereas those who scored low in restraint but high in disinhibition ate most in the Positive affect condition, and least in the negative condition. Women who scored low on the disinhibition measure ate similar amounts in all three film conditions regardless of restraint. Mood data confirmed that both negative and Positive affect films were equally arousing, but their emotional valence determined effects on eating. Thus arousal alone was not an adequate explanation for mood-induced eating. These data suggest that restraint alone is a poor predictor of likelihood of overeating in response to stress, which may explain discrepancies in the existing stress-eating literature, and also suggest that positive mood enhances the tendency to overeat in the absence of restraint.


Publication status

  • Published









Page range


Department affiliated with

  • Psychology Publications

Full text available

  • No

Peer reviewed?

  • Yes

Legacy Posted Date


Usage metrics

    University of Sussex (Publications)


    No categories selected