Are restrained eaters accurate monitors of their intoxication? Results from a field experiment
Brief interventions encourage college students to eat more before drinking to prevent harm (Dimeff et al., 1999), although many women decrease their caloric intake (Giles et al., 2009) and the number of eating episodes (Luce et al., 2012) prior to drinking alcohol. Participants were 37 undergraduate women (24.3% Caucasian) who were recruited from a local bar district in the Midwest. This study examined whether changes in eating after intending to drink interacted with dietary restraint to predict accuracy of one's intoxication. Results indicated that changes in eating significantly moderated the relationship between dietary restraint and accuracy of one's intoxication level. After eating more food before intending to drink, women higher in restraint were more likely to overestimate their intoxication than women lower in restraint. There were no differences between women with high levels and low levels of dietary restraint in the accuracy of their intoxication after eating less food before intending to drink. Future research would benefit from examining interoceptive awareness as a possible mechanism involved in this relationship.
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