Characterizing emotional overeating among patients with and without binge-eating disorder in primary care

Ashley A. Wiedemann, Valentina Ivezaj, Rachel D. Barnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Emotional overeating and loss-of-control eating are associated with poorer weight-related and psychiatric outcomes, yet our understanding of the relationship between these variables is limited, particularly among individuals in primary care. This study examined the frequency of emotional overeating and relationship with loss-of-control eating among patients with and without binge-eating disorder (BED) seeking weight loss treatment in primary care. Method: Participants were 131 adults (n = 105 female) with overweight/obesity seeking weight loss treatment in primary care. Participants completed the Eating Disorder Examination (semi-structured interview) and Yale Emotional Overeating Scale, which measures emotional overeating episodes. Height and weight were measured. Mean age and BMI were 47.60 years and 35.31 kg/m2, respectively. BED criteria were met by n = 35 (26.7%) participants. Results: Participants with BED endorsed more frequent emotional overeating episodes compared to those without BED. While total emotional overeating scores were not associated with loss-of-control eating, discrete types of emotional overeating episodes (e.g., loneliness) were associated with loss-of-control eating. Emotional overeating was most often reported in response to loneliness, boredom, or anxiety, which varied by BED status. Conclusions: Most participants endorsed recent episodes of emotional overeating; those with BED endorsed more frequent episodes. Future research examining the impact of emotional overeating on weight loss treatment outcomes is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-43
Number of pages6
JournalGeneral Hospital Psychiatry
Volume55
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Binge eating
  • Binge-eating disorder
  • Emotional eating
  • Obesity
  • Overweight
  • Primary care

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