OBJECTIVE: Some eating behaviors are associated with negative nutrition-related outcomes in adults, but research is lacking in adolescent samples. The current study examined whether dietary restraint moderates the relationship between disinhibition and weight outcomes and overall diet quality in a community sample of 16-year old adolescents.
METHODS: Participants were recruited from a longitudinal study examining self-regulation and cardiometabolic risk. Data for this cross-sectional study were collected from questionnaires and laboratory visits when participants were approximately 16 years old (n = 178). Disinhibition and restraint were assessed using two subscales of the Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire. Diet quality was determined using Healthy Eating Index-2010 (HEI-2010) scores that were calculated using dietary data from 24-h dietary recalls. Two separate hierarchical linear regression analyses tested whether restraint moderated the associations of disinhibition with BMI-for-age percentile and HEI-2010 scores.
RESULTS: After adjusting for covariates, restraint moderated the association between disinhibition and HEI-2010 scores (β = -0.21, p = 0.03). There was a main effect for disinhibition on BMI-for-age percentiles (β = 0.58, p = 0.02), but this relationship was not moderated by the level of restraint.
CONCLUSIONS: The relationship between disinhibition and overall diet quality differed among adolescents according to level of dietary restraint. Although disinhibition independently predicted weight status, the level of restraint had no influence on this association. Future studies should examine restraint in relation to energy intake and weight concerns to better understand how it influences weight and dietary outcomes in this population.