Is it the Taste or the Buzz? Alexithymia, Caffeine, and Emotional Eating

Michael Lyvers, Tamara Brown, Fred Arne Thorberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
14 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Alexithymia, a relatively stable personality trait characterized by difficulties identifying and describing feelings and externally oriented thinking, has been linked to both substance use disorders and eating disorders. In nonclinical samples, alexithymia is associated with heavier consumption of alcohol and caffeine. Both are psychoactive drugs, but unlike most drugs they are typically consumed in the context of palatable and calorie-rich products.

OBJECTIVES: Given the association of alexithymia with disordered eating, the present study evaluated the hypothesis that heavier consumption of caffeine by those with high levels of alexithymia may be motivated by the palatable and caloric aspects of common caffeine products rather than by drug-seeking.

METHODS: There were 224 participants aged 17-63 years who completed instruments assessing demographics, alexithymia, emotional eating, caffeine consumption, alcohol consumption, negative moods, and reward sensitivity.

RESULTS: As predicted, alexithymia was positively related to emotional eating as well as consumption of caffeine and alcohol, and alexithymia was a significant predictor of caffeine intake in regression models. However, there was no indication of mediation by emotional eating.

CONCLUSIONS: Alexithymia is characterized by deficient emotion regulation and negative moods, hence use of drugs and/or foods to regulate emotions, combined with poor interoceptive awareness, may account for excessive consumption of drugs or foods as alternative emotion regulation strategies in those with high levels of this trait.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)572-582
Number of pages11
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Volume54
Issue number4
Early online date31 Oct 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2019

Fingerprint

Affective Symptoms
Caffeine
eating behavior
Eating
drug
emotion
Emotions
mood
Alcohol Drinking
alcohol
food
Pharmaceutical Preparations
eating disorder
personality traits
alcohol consumption
mediation
reward
indication
Food
Psychotropic Drugs

Cite this

Lyvers, Michael ; Brown, Tamara ; Thorberg, Fred Arne. / Is it the Taste or the Buzz? Alexithymia, Caffeine, and Emotional Eating. In: Substance Use and Misuse. 2019 ; Vol. 54, No. 4. pp. 572-582.
@article{7dce7a2eaac84a53acf55ec313e26875,
title = "Is it the Taste or the Buzz?: Alexithymia, Caffeine, and Emotional Eating",
abstract = "BACKGROUND: Alexithymia, a relatively stable personality trait characterized by difficulties identifying and describing feelings and externally oriented thinking, has been linked to both substance use disorders and eating disorders. In nonclinical samples, alexithymia is associated with heavier consumption of alcohol and caffeine. Both are psychoactive drugs, but unlike most drugs they are typically consumed in the context of palatable and calorie-rich products.OBJECTIVES: Given the association of alexithymia with disordered eating, the present study evaluated the hypothesis that heavier consumption of caffeine by those with high levels of alexithymia may be motivated by the palatable and caloric aspects of common caffeine products rather than by drug-seeking.METHODS: There were 224 participants aged 17-63 years who completed instruments assessing demographics, alexithymia, emotional eating, caffeine consumption, alcohol consumption, negative moods, and reward sensitivity.RESULTS: As predicted, alexithymia was positively related to emotional eating as well as consumption of caffeine and alcohol, and alexithymia was a significant predictor of caffeine intake in regression models. However, there was no indication of mediation by emotional eating.CONCLUSIONS: Alexithymia is characterized by deficient emotion regulation and negative moods, hence use of drugs and/or foods to regulate emotions, combined with poor interoceptive awareness, may account for excessive consumption of drugs or foods as alternative emotion regulation strategies in those with high levels of this trait.",
author = "Michael Lyvers and Tamara Brown and Thorberg, {Fred Arne}",
year = "2019",
month = "3",
day = "21",
doi = "10.1080/10826084.2018.1524490",
language = "English",
volume = "54",
pages = "572--582",
journal = "International Journal of the Addictions",
issn = "1082-6084",
publisher = "Informa Healthcare USA",
number = "4",

}

Is it the Taste or the Buzz? Alexithymia, Caffeine, and Emotional Eating. / Lyvers, Michael; Brown, Tamara; Thorberg, Fred Arne.

In: Substance Use and Misuse, Vol. 54, No. 4, 21.03.2019, p. 572-582.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Is it the Taste or the Buzz?

T2 - Alexithymia, Caffeine, and Emotional Eating

AU - Lyvers, Michael

AU - Brown, Tamara

AU - Thorberg, Fred Arne

PY - 2019/3/21

Y1 - 2019/3/21

N2 - BACKGROUND: Alexithymia, a relatively stable personality trait characterized by difficulties identifying and describing feelings and externally oriented thinking, has been linked to both substance use disorders and eating disorders. In nonclinical samples, alexithymia is associated with heavier consumption of alcohol and caffeine. Both are psychoactive drugs, but unlike most drugs they are typically consumed in the context of palatable and calorie-rich products.OBJECTIVES: Given the association of alexithymia with disordered eating, the present study evaluated the hypothesis that heavier consumption of caffeine by those with high levels of alexithymia may be motivated by the palatable and caloric aspects of common caffeine products rather than by drug-seeking.METHODS: There were 224 participants aged 17-63 years who completed instruments assessing demographics, alexithymia, emotional eating, caffeine consumption, alcohol consumption, negative moods, and reward sensitivity.RESULTS: As predicted, alexithymia was positively related to emotional eating as well as consumption of caffeine and alcohol, and alexithymia was a significant predictor of caffeine intake in regression models. However, there was no indication of mediation by emotional eating.CONCLUSIONS: Alexithymia is characterized by deficient emotion regulation and negative moods, hence use of drugs and/or foods to regulate emotions, combined with poor interoceptive awareness, may account for excessive consumption of drugs or foods as alternative emotion regulation strategies in those with high levels of this trait.

AB - BACKGROUND: Alexithymia, a relatively stable personality trait characterized by difficulties identifying and describing feelings and externally oriented thinking, has been linked to both substance use disorders and eating disorders. In nonclinical samples, alexithymia is associated with heavier consumption of alcohol and caffeine. Both are psychoactive drugs, but unlike most drugs they are typically consumed in the context of palatable and calorie-rich products.OBJECTIVES: Given the association of alexithymia with disordered eating, the present study evaluated the hypothesis that heavier consumption of caffeine by those with high levels of alexithymia may be motivated by the palatable and caloric aspects of common caffeine products rather than by drug-seeking.METHODS: There were 224 participants aged 17-63 years who completed instruments assessing demographics, alexithymia, emotional eating, caffeine consumption, alcohol consumption, negative moods, and reward sensitivity.RESULTS: As predicted, alexithymia was positively related to emotional eating as well as consumption of caffeine and alcohol, and alexithymia was a significant predictor of caffeine intake in regression models. However, there was no indication of mediation by emotional eating.CONCLUSIONS: Alexithymia is characterized by deficient emotion regulation and negative moods, hence use of drugs and/or foods to regulate emotions, combined with poor interoceptive awareness, may account for excessive consumption of drugs or foods as alternative emotion regulation strategies in those with high levels of this trait.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85063696095&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/10826084.2018.1524490

DO - 10.1080/10826084.2018.1524490

M3 - Article

VL - 54

SP - 572

EP - 582

JO - International Journal of the Addictions

JF - International Journal of the Addictions

SN - 1082-6084

IS - 4

ER -