Journal of Health Psychology vol:11 issue:5 pages:655-68
Based on Wegner's Ironic Processing Theory, this study examines the effects of suppressing eating-related thoughts in a sample of 77 female students. A distinction was made between disinhibited restrainers (high dietary restraint/high disinhibition), inhibited restrainers (high dietary restraint/low disinhibition) and low restrainers. Results indicate that disinhibited restrainers used thought suppression more often and were the only group to show a rebound effect for eating-related thoughts after suppression. No effects of suppression on willingness and desire to eat emerged. Hence, thought suppression may be counterproductive at least for a subgroup of restrainers and may fuel eating-related preoccupations. More research is required to evaluate effects on eating behaviour.