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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2012 Jun;20(6):1206-11. doi: 10.1038/oby.2011.286. Epub 2011 Sep 22.

Momentary affect surrounding loss of control and overeating in obese adults with and without binge eating disorder.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA. goldschmidta@uchicago.edu

Abstract

Research suggests that loss of control (LOC) while eating (the sense that one cannot control what or how much one is eating) is a more salient feature of binge eating than the amount of food consumed. This study examined the unique contributions of LOC and episode size to negative affect surrounding eating episodes in binge eating disorder (BED) and obesity. Twenty-two obese adults with (n = 9) and without (n = 13) BED completed daily records of eating patterns and mood using ecological momentary assessment (EMA). Linear mixed modeling revealed that across groups, greater premeal self-reported LOC was associated with higher premeal negative affect independent of episode size. For individuals with BED, greater premeal self-reported LOC was associated with higher postmeal negative affect, regardless of the amount of food eaten, whereas for obese controls, the combination of LOC and consumption of large amounts of food was associated with lower postmeal negative affect. Results indicate that LOC, but not the quantity of food consumed, is associated with momentary distress related to aberrant eating in BED. Findings also highlight the need for further research investigating the emotional context surrounding aberrant eating in obese individuals without BED.

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