Category: Obesity / Overweight
Emotional eating has been identified as a predictor of poorer weight loss outcomes in non-surgical clinical populations. It is unknown, however, whether emotional eating contributes to poorer weight loss after bariatric surgery or how it might be associated with loss-of-control (LOC) eating, a known predictor of post-surgical outcomes. This study examined the nature and significance of emotional eating among post-bariatric surgery patients with LOC eating. Participants were 101 post-bariatric surgery patients (n=90, 89% sleeve gastrectomy) approximately 5-8 months post-surgery seeking treatment for LOC eating. Participants were administered the Eating Disorder Examination: Bariatric Surgery Version Interview to assess eating behaviors and eating disorder psychopathology including LOC eating during the past month and completed the Yale Emotional Overeating Questionnaire which assesses frequency of LOC eating in response to various emotions. Participants’ measured weights immediate prior to surgery and again at intake for this study were used to calculate weight loss. Frequencies of emotional eating and LOC eating were examined and bivariate correlations were conducted to examine the relationships between weight loss, LOC eating, and emotional eating. Linear regression analyses tested the joint and independent contributions of LOC eating and emotional eating in accounting for variance in weight loss. Participants reported an average of 21.7 (SD=19.1) LOC eating episodes during the previous month. Participants reported LOC eating in response to anxiety (70.3%), followed by boredom (64.45%) and sadness (61.4%); LOC eating in response to some emotion ranged from one day to everyday during the previous month. Emotional eating was significantly negatively correlated with weight loss (r= -0.21; p < .05) and positively correlated with LOC eating frequency (r=0.34; p < .01). Linear regression analyses revealed that both emotional eating (p < .05) and frequency of LOC eating (p < .01) were independently associated with weight loss. LOC eating accounted for a significant amount of the variance in weight loss, above and beyond emotional eating (p < .01). In the final model, both variables contributed 9.6% of the overall variance in weight loss. Our findings for post-bariatric surgery patients (predominately sleeve gastrectomy) with LOC eating suggests that greater frequency of LOC eating is associated with poorer weight outcomes. Our findings also highlight the potential additional importance of LOC eating in response to emotions after bariatric surgery. Further research is needed to determine the longer-term prognostic significance of these forms of disturbed eating and repeated-measures longitudinal designs should test meditational models.