Shared risk factors for mood-, eating-, and weight-related health outcomes

Andrea B. Goldschmidt, Melanie Wall, Tse Hwei J Choo, Carolyn Becker, Dianne Neumark-Sztainer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Objective: Given the overlap among depressive symptoms, disordered eating, and overweight, identifying shared risk factors for these conditions may inform public health interventions. This study aimed to examine cross-sectional and prospective relationships among these 3 conditions, and identify potential shared eating-related and psychosocial variable risk factors (i.e., body dissatisfaction, dieting, teasing experiences). Method: A population-based sample (n = 1,902) self-reported depressive symptoms, disordered eating (binge eating, extreme weight control behaviors), weight status, and several putative risk factors (body satisfaction, dieting frequency, weight-related teasing) at 5-year intervals spanning early/middle adolescence, middle adolescence/early young adulthood, and early/middle young adulthood. Results: There was moderate overlap among depressive symptoms, disordered eating, and overweight at each time point, and moderate stability in each condition over time. Body dissatisfaction and dieting were the most potent shared risk factors for later depressive symptoms, disordered eating, and overweight among males and females (ps <.05). Conclusions: Depressive symptoms, disordered eating, and overweight share several risk factors, including dieting and body dissatisfaction, which may be effective targets for interventions aiming to simultaneously prevent these 3 conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-252
Number of pages8
JournalHealth Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Grant R01-HL084064 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (DNS). A.B.G.''s time was supported by KL2-RR025000 from the National Center for Research Resources. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute or the National Institutes of Health. The study sponsors were not involved in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; or the decision to submit the manuscript for publication. M.M.W. had full access to all of the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. Carolyn Becker is co-director and co-owner of the Body Project Collaborative. This collaborative is not discussed specifically, but projects of this kind are mentioned.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Psychological Association.


  • Depression
  • Disordered eating
  • Overweight
  • Risk factors


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