Is desire to eat in response to positive emotions an 'obese' eating style: Is Kummerspeck for some people a misnomer?

T. van Strien, Marianne H Donker, Machteld A Ouwens

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Is desire to eat in response to positive emotions an 'obese' eating style: a style more prevalent in people with obesity? In other words: Is Kummerspeck (German: sorrow-fat) for some people a misnomer? This question was addressed in three studies on women. Study 1 (n = 188) tested the moderator effect of subjective well-being on the association of BMI with the scale on desire to eat in response to negative emotions (DEBQ-E). Study 2 tested in women (n = 832) whether items on desire to eat in response to positive emotions loaded on the same factor as those in response to negative emotions and body mass. Study 3 assessed in the total sample (n = 203) and an overweight subsample (n = 40) a) whether self-reported desire to eat in response to positive emotions predicted actual food intake and b) whether this also held true over and above self-reported desire to eat in response to negative emotions. Study 1 showed only for women with low positive affect a significant positive association of BMI with DEBQ-E. In Study 2, only items on desire to eat in response to negative emotions loaded on the same factor as BMI. Study 3: In the total sample, the significant effect on food intake of the scale on desire to eat in response to positive emotions disappeared when a scale on desire to eat in response to negative emotions was added to the model. In the overweight-subsample there was only an effect on food intake for desire to eat in response to negative emotions. It is concluded that only desire to eat in response to negative emotions is an 'obese' eating style, suggesting that Kummerspeck is not a misnomer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-35
Number of pages11
JournalAppetite
Volume100
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anxiety
  • Body Mass Index
  • Female
  • Happiness
  • Humans
  • Hyperphagia
  • Models, Psychological
  • Netherlands
  • Obesity
  • Pleasure
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Self Report
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Students
  • Universities
  • Weight Gain
  • Young Adult
  • Comparative Study
  • Journal Article

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