British Journal of Clinical Psychology

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Volume 28 Issue 4 (November 1989), Pages 289-384

A comment on the role of dietary restraint in the development of bulimia nervosa (pages 329-339)

The evidence is examined that dietary restraint is causally implicated in the development of bulimic episodes as experienced by some clinical populations, notably patients with bulimia nervosa. An analysis of some of the methodological and conceptual difficulties in this area of research reveals that both the concept of dietary restraint and the phenomenon of overeating in the laboratory are less straightforward than has been assumed, and that conclusions about the causal role of dietary restraint in the development of disordered eating are premature. Future research should be based on sophisticated measures of both restraint and overeating.

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