Overeating phenotypes in overweight and obese children

Kerri N. Boutelle, Carol B. Peterson, Ross D. Crosby, Sarah A. Rydell, Nancy Zucker, Lisa Harnack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to identify overeating phenotypes and their correlates in overweight and obese children. One hundred and seventeen treatment-seeking overweight and obese 8-12. year-old children and their parents completed the study. Children completed an eating in the absence of hunger (EAH) paradigm, the Eating Disorder Examination interview, and measurements of height and weight. Parents and children completed questionnaires that evaluated satiety responsiveness, food responsiveness, negative affect eating, external eating and eating in the absence of hunger. Latent profile analysis was used to identify heterogeneity in overeating phenotypes in the child participants. Latent classes were then compared on measures of demographics, obesity status and nutritional intake. Three latent classes of overweight and obese children were identified: High Satiety Responsive, High Food Responsive, and Moderate Satiety and Food Responsive. Results indicated that the High Food Responsive group had higher BMI and BMI-Z scores compared to the High Satiety Responsive group. No differences were found among classes in demographics or nutritional intake. This study identified three overeating phenotypes, supporting the heterogeneity of eating patterns associated with overweight and obesity in treatment-seeking children. These finding suggest that these phenotypes can potentially be used to identify high risk groups, inform prevention and intervention targets, and develop specific treatments for these behavioral phenotypes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-100
Number of pages6
StatePublished - May 1 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by a University of Minnesota Faculty Development Grant to KB and LH. Additional funding to KB K02HL112042.


  • Binge eating
  • Childhood
  • Eating in the absence of hunger
  • Obesity
  • Overeating
  • Phenotypes


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