Supersize my brain: A cross-sectional voxel-based morphometry study on the association between self-reported dietary restraint and regional grey matter volumes

van der Laan, Laura N., Charbonnier, Lisette, Griffioen-Roose, Sanne, Kroese, Floor M., van Rijn, Inge, Smeets, Paul A M


Biological Psychology 117 p. 108-116


Restrained eaters do not eat less than their unrestrained counterparts. Proposed underlying mechanisms are that restrained eaters are more reward sensitive and that they have worse inhibitory control. Although fMRI studies assessed these mechanisms, it is unknown how brain anatomy relates to dietary restraint. Voxel-based morphometry was performed on anatomical scans from 155 normal-weight females to investigate how regional grey matter volume correlates with restraint. A positive correlation was found in several areas, including the parahippocampal gyrus, hippocampus, striatum and the amygdala (bilaterally, p <0.05, corrected). A negative correlation was found in several areas, including the inferior frontal gyrus, superior frontal gyrus, supplementary motor area, middle cingulate cortex and precentral gyrus (p <0.05, corrected). That higher restraint relates to higher grey matter volume in reward-related areas and lower grey matter volume in regions involved in inhibition, provides a neuroanatomical underpinning of theories relating restraint to increased reward sensitivity and reduced inhibitory capacity.