The impact of meal consumption on emotion among individuals with eating disorders

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14 Scopus citations


Purpose: This pilot study sought to determine how meal consumption impacts affective states for treatment-seeking individuals with eating disorders (ED). Methods: Participants with heterogeneous ED diagnoses completed the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, Positive and Negative Affect Schedule, and Profile of Mood States measures before and immediately after meal consumption. Results: Meal consumption was associated with significant decreases in negative affect and total mood disturbance for individuals with binge eating disorder (BED). Decreases in negative affect across meal time for individuals with BED were significantly different from increases in negative affect for participants with anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN). Conclusion: Findings indicate that individuals with BED have significantly different affective responses to eating non-binge meals than individuals with AN or BN. Data suggest changes in negative affect following meal consumption may be specific to certain ED diagnoses. Results provide preliminary evidence consistent with the idea that emotion states may function as maintenance mechanisms for psychopathology among ED diagnoses. Limitations and future directions pertaining to food-mood relationships for individuals with ED are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-354
Number of pages8
JournalEating and Weight Disorders
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments The current study was funded by the University of Minnesota Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) and the Minnesota Obesity Center (P30DK50456). The investigators wish to express gratitude to the Emily Program staff at the St. Louis Park and St. Paul clinic sites for contributions to this investigation. All authors reviewed and approved the manuscript.


  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Binge eating disorder
  • Bulimia nervosa
  • Eating disorder
  • Emotion
  • Mood


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