Individuals with High Stress are More Prone to Binge Eating

July 17, 2008

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 Individuals with High Stress are More Prone to Binge Eating
OBJECTIVE:Binge eating among overweight women is associated with adverse physical and psychological consequences, and is known to occur in response to negative affect. This study sought to examine the role played by individual differences in coping style in the relationship between negative affect and binge eating.
METHOD: Overweight women (N = 105) completed a battery of questionnaires that assessed their binge eating severity, negative affect, and dispositional coping style. RESULTS: Women with higher levels of negative affect had more severe binge eating problems than those who generally experienced a low level of affective distress. Among those who were low in negative affect, however, those who tended to use the dysfunctional strategy of disengagement to cope with stress reported more severe binge eating than those who reported they were less likely to employ this coping style. CONCLUSIONS: The findings from this study emphasize the complexity and multicausality of affect-related binge eating in overweight women. Prospective studies are required to establish the role of negative affect and coping style in the onset and progression of recurrent binge eating among overweight individuals.

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