Methods and Procedures: Eighteen male and thirty-one female participants were chosen to participate in a single blinded-randomized six week cross over study in which the effect of different snacks on blood pressure would be studied.
During the first week of the study, each participant was given 250 grams per day of their favorite chocolate of choice to consume as a snack in place of their regular snacking. During the second week, participants repeated the chocolate consumption as in the first week of the study, with a pre-restriction mindset. During weeks 3-5, participants were allowed to choose from a variety of non-chocolate snacks.
The options included: salty, non-chocolate sweet candy, and dried fruit snacks. Saliva samples were taken to ensure chocolate is not being consumed during weeks 3-5. During week six, chocolate was reintroduced in a “post-chocolate restriction” period. Participants reported to the laboratory on days 1, 3, and 7 and a mood questionnaire along with a blood pressure assessment were completed on each of those days. Total energy intakes were analyzed over the baseline , pre-chocolate and post-chocolate periods and participants were grouped as having high disinhibition or low disinhibition.
A prediction in the form of a logistic regression was also conducted on these periods to determine the effect of the period on the occurrence of an ingestive event.Results: The mood questionnaire and check-in assessments reveled that high disinhibition individuals had higher body weight, BMI (body mass index), and fat mass and also reported higher craving events, depression, and higher tendencies of consuming chocolate as opposed to low disinhibition individuals who also reported higher stress levels than high disinhibition individuals. High disinhibition participants had lesser ingestive events than low disinhibition participants (an ingestive event is a reported event of > 5kcal) regardless of the chocolate condition (P <0.
0001). Ingestive events occurred less frequently in the baseline chocolate period as compared to the pre- (P=0.005) and post-chocolate periods (P=0.0005). In general, low disinhibited individuals had more frequent intakes but consumed less energy in total, while high disinhibited individuals had lower frequencies of intake with higher energy totals. Low disinhibited individuals consumed an equal amount of energy from chocolate in the pre- and baseline periods but consumed a lower energy amount in the post-chocolate period compared to the baseline period while high disinhibition individuals consumed about the same amount of energy from chocolate regardless of the period. Milk chocolate consumers consumed more energy than individuals who consumed dark chocolate despite the period (P=0.
010), and significantly , high disinhibited participants consumed more energy from chocolate than low disinhibition participants (P< 0.0001). Analysis and interpretations: The results of high disinhibited participants is consistent with the prediction that restriction of certain foods, chocolate being the case observed, the frequency of ingestive cases increases.
High disinhibited individuals also reported higher cravings for chocolate which potentially could be a drive or causation for consuming more energy from chocolate. This idea however is not supported by the results of low disinhibition individuals who consumed less energy in the post-chocolate period. This contradiction is possibly due to monotony which is a characterization of lower preference for an item over time. There is also a possibility that high disinhibited personnel prefer chocolate over different snacks in this study which explains the contradicting results in low disinhibition individuals who significantly consumed less energy from chocolate in the post-chocolate period.