Eating in the absence of hunger during childhood predicts self-reported binge eating in adolescence

Katherine N. Balantekin, Leann L. Birch, Jennifer S. Savage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective The objectives of the current study were to examine whether eating in the absence of hunger (EAH) at age 7 predicted reports of self-reported binge eating at age 15 and to identify factors among girls with high-EAH that moderated risk of later binge eating. Method Subjects included 158 girls assessed at age 7 and age 15. Logistic regression was used to predict binge eating at age 15 from calories consumed during EAH at age 7. A series of logistic regressions were used to examine the odds of reporting binge eating given levels of risk factors (e.g., anxiety) among those with high-EAH in childhood. Results Girls’ EAH intake predicted reports of binge eating at age 15; after adjusting for age 7 BMI, for each additional 100 kcal consumed, girls were 1.7 times more likely to report binge eating in adolescence. Among those with high-EAH, BMI, anxiety, depression, dietary restraint, emotional disinhibition, and body dissatisfaction all predicted binge eating. Discussion EAH during childhood predicted reports of binge eating during adolescence; girls with elevated BMI, negative affect, and maladaptive eating- and weight-related cognitions were at increased risk. High-EAH in childhood may be useful for indicating those at risk for developing binge eating.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-10
Number of pages4
JournalEating Behaviors
Volume24
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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