The Association of Emotional Eating with Overweight/Obesity, Depression, Anxiety/Stress, and Dietary Patterns: A Review of the Current Clinical Evidence
Source of Publication
(1) Background: Emotional eating is considered as the propensity to eat in response to emotions. It is considered as a critical risk factor for recurrent weight gain. Such overeating is able to affect general health due to excess energy intake and mental health. So far, there is still considerable controversy on the effect of the emotional eating concept. The objective of this study is to summarize and evaluate the interconnections among emotional eating and overweight/obesity, depression, anxiety/stress, and dietary patterns; (2) Methods: This is a thorough review of the reported associations among emotional eating and overweight/obesity, depression, anxiety/stress, and dietary patterns. We compressively searched the most precise scientific online databases, e.g., PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science and Google Scholar to obtain the most up-to-date data from clinical studies in humans from the last ten years (2013–2023) using critical and representative keywords. Several inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied for scrutinizing only longitudinal, cross-sectional, descriptive, and prospective clinical studies in Caucasian populations; (3) Results: The currently available findings suggest that overeating/obesity and unhealthy eating behaviors (e.g., fast food consumption) are associated with emotional eating. Moreover, the increase in depressive symptoms seems to be related with more emotional eating. Psychological distress is also related with a greater risk for emotional eating. However, the most common limitations are the small sample size and their lack of diversity. In addition, a cross-sectional study was performed in the majority of them; (4) Conclusions: Finding coping mechanisms for the negative emotions and nutrition education can prevent the prevalence of emotional eating. Future studies should further explain the underlying mechanisms of the interconnections among emotional eating and overweight/obesity, depression, anxiety/stress, and dietary patterns.
Medicine and Health Sciences
anxiety, depression, dietary patterns, emotional eating, mental health, nutrition, obesity, overweight, stress
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Dakanalis, Antonios; Mentzelou, Maria; Papadopoulou, Souzana K.; Papandreou, Dimitrios; Spanoudaki, Maria; Vasios, Georgios K.; Pavlidou, Eleni; Mantzorou, Maria; and Giaginis, Constantinos, "The Association of Emotional Eating with Overweight/Obesity, Depression, Anxiety/Stress, and Dietary Patterns: A Review of the Current Clinical Evidence" (2023). All Works. 5737.
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Gold: This publication is openly available in an open access journal/series