Public Release: 

Low Leptin Levels In Restrained Eaters

Molecular Psychiatry

S von Prittwitz, WF Blum, A Ziegler, S Scharmann, H Remschmidt, J Hebebrand Departments of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Medical Biometry, University of Marburg, Children's University Hospital, University of Gießen, and Lilly GmbH, Germany

Psychometrically defined restrained eaters consume fewer calories, take fewer meals, show higher preference for low calorie foods, have lower energy expenditure, and a higher rate of ovarial dysfunction than unrestrained eaters. The authors hypothesized that restrained eaters as assessed with the factor cognitive restraint if the Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire have low leptin levels, and assessed serum leptin levels in 136 underweight students and 49 overweight students, who had filled out the Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire. Body mass index, body fat, and percent body fat were determined. Spearman correlations revealeed that log10 leptin levels of only the 67 underweight females were negatively correlated with cognitive restraint scores (r=-0.5, nominal P value < 0.001). The restraint score explained 22% of the total variance of leptin levels in underweight females; in combination with total body fat, 53% of the variance was accounted for. This is the first report identifying a relationship between a psychometric scale and leptin levels. Restrained eating has a biological correlate in underweight females.


For further information, please contact the corresponding author, Professor Johannes Hebebrand at the University of Marburg, Germany; e-mail:; Tel.: +49-6421-286466; Fax: +49-6421-283056

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