Virtual portion tasks have been used to predict food intake in healthy individuals, severity of illness in individuals with anorexia nervosa, and weight loss in bariatric surgery patients. Whether portion creation in response to a recalled interpersonal stress ("recalled stress portions") could be used as a proxy for ad lib intake, after a stressor, remains untested, and the mechanism supporting this relationship is unclear. The present study's goals were: 1) to validate virtual portion tasks as proxies for actual food intake in a stressful context and 2) to test a causal pathway in which these virtual stress portions predict ad lib intake after stress. We proposed that this relationship is mediated by virtual portions created the moment after laboratory stress or rest manipulation (momentary portions), and before the participant actually ate food. At screening, 29 healthy undergraduate white women created virtual portions of eight snacks (apples, olives, potato chips, pretzels,...

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