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Int J Eat Disord. 2018 Dec 19. doi: 10.1002/eat.22990. [Epub ahead of print]

Household food insecurity is associated with binge-eating disorder and obesity.

Author information

1
Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut.
2
Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.
3
Department of Psychology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Food insecurity stems from limited financial resources. Yet, paradoxically, food insecurity is associated with overeating and excess weight. One subcategory of overeating is binge eating, which includes eating an unusually large amount of food while feeling a concurrent sense of loss of control. Associations between binge-eating disorder and food insecurity are not known, yet this is important to examine because binge eating is associated with more severe mental and physical health problems than overeating or obesity alone.

METHOD:

Survey respondents (N = 1,250) were recruited online. Participants were categorized into study groups: healthy weight (HW), binge-eating disorder (BED), and obesity (OB). Using HW as a reference group, hierarchical logistic regressions evaluated the extent to which low and very low food security were associated with BED and OB.

RESULTS:

Low food security and very low food security were both associated with increased likelihood of BED and OB group membership.

CONCLUSIONS:

Results highlight the need to devote resources towards policy revisions, preventative interventions, and psychiatric treatments aimed at decreasing the overall association of food insecurity with BED and obesity among low-income Americans.

KEYWORDS:

binge-eating disorder; food insecurity; obesity

PMID:
30565270
DOI:
10.1002/eat.22990

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