Feeding feelings: Is there a relationship between emotional eating and body mass index in adults?

Peta Berenice Stapleton, Eleanor Mackay

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The present study aimed to investigate the relationship between emotional eating and body mass index (BMI) in an international sample of healthy weight, overweight, and obese adults (N = 226). It was hypothesised emotional eating scores would differ significantly between the BMI classification groups. Consistent with expectations, ANCOVA results revealed significant differences in emotional eating scores across weight groups, after controlling for gender. Post-hoc analyses revealed participants who were overweight or obese reported higher emotional eating levels than participants who were normal weight. An analysis of variance indicated that being over the age of 50 was the strongest predictor of BMI, however emotional eating scores were identified as the second strongest predictor. Contributions and limitations of the present study, as well as recommendations for future research are also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Healing and Caring
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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