Background: Emotional eating (EE) is a disordered eating behaviour which may lead to overeating. It is not clear whether EE presents to an equal degree among adults, regardless of their body mass index (BMI) status. The aim of this study was to assess whether there is a difference in degree of EE between adults with healthy weight, overweight and obesity. Methods: MEDLINE and APA PsycINFO databases were searched from inception up to January 2022 for studies that reported EE scores from validated questionnaires. The quality of all included studies was assessed using the AXIS tool. Meta‐analysis used random effects and standardised mean difference (SMD). Heterogeneity was investigated usingI2statistics and sensitivity analyses. Results: A total of 11 studies with 7207 participants were included in the meta‐analysis. Degree of EE was greater in adults with a BMI above the healthy range, compared to adults with a healthy BMI (SMD 0.31, 95% CI 0.17 to0.45;I2= 85%). However, subgroup analysis found that degree of EE was greater only in adults with obesity (SMD 0.61, 95% CI 0.41 to 0.81;I2= 62%),and there was no difference in degree of EE between adults with overweight and those with a healthy BMI. Conclusions: Degree of EE is greater among adults living with obesity, compared to adults with a healthy BMI, indicating a need for behavioural support to support EE among people living with obesity seeking weight management. Future research should examine the long‐term effectiveness of interventions for EE
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics|
|Early online date||3 Apr 2023|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 3 Apr 2023|
Bibliographical noteThis is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
- Emotional eating
- Weight status