In this study, we hypothesized that overweight/obese persons have an exaggerated approach tendency toward high calorie foods. Testing this hypothesis, a stimulus response compatibility (SRC) task was used to assess approach-avoidance tendencies toward food in both overweight/obese participants (n = 42), and normal weight controls (n = 46). The SRC task is a reaction time task measuring how fast one approaches and avoids pictures of food and non-foods according to given instructions. It was found that overweight/obese men are slower at avoiding particularly high calorie snack foods. But this does not appear to be the case for overweight/obese women who showed nearly as fast avoidance as approach toward the high calorie food cues. It is concluded that overweight/obese women, rather than men, are ambivalent toward high calorie foods, which is the likely result of high dietary restraint. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.