ERIC Number: EJ1070763
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jul
Young Adults' Food Selection Patterns: Relations with Binge Eating and Restraint
Lydecker, Janet A.; Palmberg, Allison A.; Hill, Katherine Vatalaro; Mazzeo, Suzanne E.
Journal of College Student Development, v56 n5 p493-498 Jul 2015
Binge eating is increasingly prevalent in college students (White, Reynolds-Malear, & Cordero, 2011). Binge episodes involve eating an objectively large quantity of food in a discrete amount of time and a perceived lost control over eating (American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2013). Strong negative affect commonly precedes and follows each episode. Binge eating is associated with severe obesogenic consequences such as diabetes, impaired heart function, and intestinal problems (Thompson, Roehrig, & Kinder, 2007). Individuals who binge eat report impaired functioning in personal, occupational, and social domains (Hudson, Hiripi, Pope, & Kessler, 2007). Addressing behaviors antecedent to a binge, such as food selection and acquisition, is an important part of understanding and creating interventions for this maladaptive behavior. The emotion regulation theory of binge eating (Chen, Matthews, Allen, Kuo, & Linehan, 2008) views disordered eating as a maladaptive attempt to cope with intense emotions, rather than a response to physiological hunger (Napolitano & Himes, 2011). Eating carries an expectation of escape from negative affect through the transfer of attention from the negative affect to a concrete object (i.e., food; Heatherton & Baumeister, 1991). Binge eating is a maladaptive coping strategy because it provides initial momentary relief, but ultimately negative affect (e.g., guilt and disgust) follows (APA, 2013). Before emotional eating can occur, students must (consciously or nonconsciously) decide what foods they will emotionally eat and must acquire the food. Awareness of food selection behavior can help college health providers assist students in identifying trigger foods and locations. This study contributes to existing research by assessing whether food selection differs in the presence of an emotion within the unique context of a college campus.
Descriptors: College Students, Food, Eating Disorders, Health Behavior, Intervention, Behavior Problems, Online Surveys, Student Surveys, Questionnaires, Audience Response Systems, Correlation, Regression (Statistics), Demography
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
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