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October 1980

Food Accessibility and Food Choice: A Test of Schachter's Externality Hypothesis

Author Affiliations

Milton Coll
From the Department of Psychology, Memphis State University, Memphis, Tenn (Dr Meyers); the Department of Psychiatry, the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (Dr Stunkard); and the Medical College of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (Mr Coll).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1980;37(10):1133-1135. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1980.01780230051007

• A set of naturalistic observations was conducted to examine Schachter's theory that obese individuals are more responsive to external food cues than persons of normal weight. During six days of observation at a large hospital cafeteria, experimenters manipulated the accessibility of high- and low-calorie desserts. No differences in selection by obese, overweight, and normalweight individuals of meals or desserts were observed. All weight groups were equally responsive to the experimental manipulation of food cues.