Eating behavior in eating disorders: Response to preloads

Marion M. Hetherington, Barbara J. Rolls

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Eating behavior in eating-disordered subjects was investigated by recording food intake and subjective ratings following three preloads differing in calories, weight and connotation. Subjects were patients with a DSM-IIIR diagnosis of anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa and nonpatient volunteers (normal-weight or overweight dieters, and normal-weight nondieters). After all preloads, anorectics ate significantly less than all other subjects except normal-weight dieters, and anorectics rated hunger and desire to eat consistently lower and fullness greater than all other subjects. When analysis of intake was adjusted for body weight, anorectics and normal-weight dieters still consumed significantly less than controls. Anorectics selected foods that were lower in fat and carbohydrate and ate a larger proportion of calories as protein than the other subjects. All groups decreased subsequent intake after the high-calorie preload except bulimics. This study demonstrates that the regulatory capacity of eating-disordered individuals can be investigated and that aberrant eating behavior was observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-108
Number of pages8
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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