The emotional eating and negative food relationship experiences of obese and overweight adults.
Sommaire de l'article
Overweight and obesity pose serious public health problems, affecting 68.8% of Americans. Previous research indicated that psychological factors played important roles in an individual's motivation to consume food. In particular, emotional eating, defined as overeating in response to negative affect, has received particular attention as a risk factor for obesity. This study explored and addressed the emotional factors involved in the development of emotional eating. A total of 10 Midwestern American male and female adults, previously diagnosed as medically overweight and obese, were recruited via online and print advertisement using maximum variation and snowball sampling methods. Using a semi-structured, face-to-face interview format, participants shared their perspectives about the development and persistence of emotional eating. The interviews were transcribed and Atlas.ti software was used to assist in thematic analysis of emotional eating. Study results yielded themes, such as emotional triggers, food cravings, comfort from foods, mindless eating, and childhood experiences. Findings indicated that participants generally lacked emotional self-care, but desired to decrease their emotional eating behaviors. Implications are discussed to construct creative, evidence-based treatments for the overweight and obese emotional eaters.