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Acquired liking for sweet-paired odours is related to the disinhibition but not restraint factor from the Three Factor Eating Questionnaire

By Martin R Yeomans, Sirous Mobini, Emma J Bertenshaw and Natalie J Gould


Previous research suggests that women scoring high on dietary restraint may be insensitive to flavourflavour learning, but no study has yet explored this using the olfactory conditioning paradigm. Accordingly, 56 women who were sweet likers were classified as either high or low on both the Three Factor Eating Questionnaire restraint and disinhibition scales. They evaluated two odours before and after disguised pairings of one odour with 10% sucrose and the other with 0.01% quinine. Liking for the quinine-paired odour decreased post-training, with no effects of restraint or disinhibition. In contrast, the increase in liking for the sucrose-paired odour was significantly greater in women classified as scoring high in disinhibition, but was unaffected by restraint. Sweetness of the sucrose paired odour increased, and bitterness of the quinine-paired odour decreased, similarly in all groups. These data suggest that sensitivity of restrained eaters to flavour-based learning may result from their attitude to the food used as reinforcer rather than some basic failure in the learning process, and also suggest that women scoring high on disinhibition may show heightened sensitivity to hedonic cues

Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2008.10.001
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