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Few data exist about restrained eating behavior in postmenopausal women. A recently published paper reports on an online survey in women aged between 40 and 66 years [1]. Overall, about 5000 e-mail invitations were sent, of which 1101 potential participants started to fill out the questionnaire. The drop-out rate (participants who did not fill out the questionnaire completely) was 40.2%. A further 88 women were excluded because of pre-set criteria. Eating behavior was assessed with the Eating Disorder Examination-Questionnaire (EDE-Q) in premenopausal ([i]n[/i] = 318, mean age 46 years) and postmenopausal women ([i]n[/i] = 250, mean age 55 years). The mean body mass index (BMI) for both groups was around 23.5 ± 4 kg/m[+]2[/+]. All participants rated their self-esteem using the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSE) and reported their weight, height, waist circumference, and hip circumference. Meaningful restrained eating was defined according to the periods of going without food during waking hours on average three or more times per week in order to influence weight or shape. For example, repeated food avoidance during 8 hours was considered extreme dietary restraint. 15.7% of all participants showed clinically meaningful scores on restrained eating. Postmenopausal women showed significantly higher scores on the EDE-Q subscale of restrained eating as compared to premenopausal women, but, when controlling for BMI, this finding was no longer significant. Further exploratory analyses suggested that particularly low or high self-esteem levels were associated with restrained eating. Self-esteem might have served as a mediator between menopausal status and restrained eating; however, results of these additional analyses were inconsistent.


  • Amos Pines
    Sackler School of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel


  1. Drobnjak S, Atsiz S, Ditzen B, Tuschen-Caffier B, Ehlert U. Restrained eating and self-esteem in premenopausal and postmenopausal women. J Eat Disord 2014;2:23
  2. Rideout CA, Barr SI. “Restrained eating” vs “trying to lose weight”: how are they associated with body weight and tendency to overeat among postmenopausal women? J Am Diet Assoc 2009;109:890-3
  3. de Lauzon-Guillain B, Basdevant A, Romon M, Karlsson J, Borys JM, Charles MA; FLVS Study Group. Is restrained eating a risk factor for weight gain in a general population? Am J Clin Nutr 2006;83:132-8
  4. Gagne DA, Von Holle A, Brownley KA, et al. Eating disorder symptoms and weight and shape concerns in a large web-based convenience sample of women ages 50 and above: Results of the gender and body image (GABI) study. Int J Eat Disord 2012;45:832-44
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