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Int J Eat Disord. 2014 Apr;47(3):281-6. doi: 10.1002/eat.22188. Epub 2013 Sep 6.

Affect and eating behavior in obese adults with and without elevated depression symptoms.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Although there is a modest relation between obesity and depression, mechanisms that contribute to this co-occurrence are unclear. This study examined mood and eating behavior among obese adults with and without elevated depression symptoms.

METHOD:

Obese adults (N = 50) were subtyped according to a Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) cutoff of 14, indicating "probable depression." Participants with (BDI ≥ 14; n = 15) and without (BDI < 14; n = 35) elevated depression symptoms were compared on affect- and eating-related variables measured via questionnaire and ecological momentary assessment (EMA) using ANCOVA and mixed model regression.

RESULTS:

After adjusting for group differences in body mass index (BMI; p = .03), participants with elevated depression symptoms reported greater emotional eating via self-report questionnaire [F(1,50) = 4.3; p = .04], as well as more frequent binge eating (Wald χ(2)  = 13.8; p < .001) and higher daily negative affect (Wald χ(2)  = 7.7; p = .005) on EMA recordings. Emotional eating mediated the relationship between depression status and BMI (indirect effect estimate = 3.79; 95% CI = 1.02-7.46).

DISCUSSION:

Emotional eating and binge eating were more commonly reported by obese adults with elevated depression symptoms compared to those without and may occur against a general backdrop of overall low mood. Intervention and prevention programs for obesity and/or depression should address disordered eating to prevent or minimize adverse health consequences.

KEYWORDS:

binge eating; depression; ecological momentary assessment; emotional eating; obesity

PMID:
24014067
PMCID:
PMC3980849
DOI:
10.1002/eat.22188
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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