There are a significant number of studies on cognitive restraint among individuals with varying dietary patterns. Although most research has found that vegetarians report higher levels of cognitive restraint compared to non-vegetarians, many studies have contributed inconsistent results. The aim of the current study, therefore, was to assess any differences between groups with varying dietary patterns on cognitive restraint and other disordered eating pattern. The second objective was to examine determinants of cognitive restraint in individuals adhering to a vegan diet, a vegetarian diet and an omnivore diet. Two-hundred and fifty-four participants with varying dietary patterns completed the Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire, the Perseverative Thinking Questionnaire and the Eating Habits Questionnaire. Our results indicated that both vegetarian and vegan groups showed a significantly lower cognitive restraint, lower emotional eating and lower uncontrolled eating than those who followed an omnivorous diet. In addition, these both groups following a plant-based diet have shown more cognitions, behaviours and feelings related to an extreme focus on healthy eating (orthorexia nervosa) than group following an omnivorous diet. There were no significant differences between the groups in perseverative thinking. Core characteristics of repetitive negative thinking was a significant predictor of cognitive restraint in vegans. Feeling positively about healthy eating predicted cognitive restraint among vegetarians. Problems associated with healthy eating and feeling positively about healthy eating predicted cognitive restraint among individuals following an omnivorous diet. Knowledge of predictors of cognitive restraint may serve as a psychological intervention goal or psychoeducation goal among individuals with varying dietary patterns.
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