Eating Disorders: Perceptions of Emotional Eating Behavior: A Qualitative Study of College Students.

Perceptions of emotional eating behavior: a qualitative study of college students.

Filed under: Eating Disorders

Appetite. 2012 Oct 6;
Bennett J, Greene G, Schwartz-Barcott D

Approximately one-third of college students are overweight or obese and the average student gains five kilograms during college. Previous research has identified a relationship between emotional eating and weight gain in young adults, but outside the realm of eating disorders, few studies qualitatively capture why individuals cope with emotions by eating. Exploratory qualitative research was conducted, including three-day food journals and indepth interviews, with proportionate quota sampling of eight male and eight female undergraduate students to gain an understanding of students’ perceptions of their emotional eating behaviors. Participants were purposively selected based on their emotional eating scores on the Weight Related Eating Questionnaire from a larger survey assessing student eating behaviors. Participants’ (n=16) mean age was 19.6±1.0 years and all self-reported their race to be white. Mean Body Mass Index (BMI) for females and males was 24.1±1.2 kg/m(2) and 24.8±1.7 kg/m(2), respectively. Findings from the qualitative analyses indicated gender differences and similarities. Females identified stress as the primary trigger for emotional eating, frequently followed by guilt. Males were primarily triggered by unpleasant feelings such as boredom or anxiety turning to food as a distraction; however, males were less likely to experience guilt after an emotional eating episode than females. During emotional eating episodes, both genders chose what they defined as unhealthful foods. These findings indicate a multidisciplinary intervention focusing on emotion and stress management in addition to dietary behavior change should be developed to reduce the potential for weight gain associated with emotional eating in the college-aged population.
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[Orthorexia–a new diagnosis?].

Filed under: Eating Disorders

Psychiatr Pol. 2012 May-Jun; 46(3): 441-50
Janas-Kozik M, Zejda J, Stochel M, Brozek G, Janas A, Jelonek I

Orthorexia nervosa (Greek: ortho–correct, right; orexis–appetite, desire) is a term introduced in 1997 by the American doctor Steven Bratman and is defined as a pathological fixation with righteous and healthy eating. Clear classification criteria oforthorexia have not been developed yet and there has been an on-going discussion whether it belongs to the group of eating disorders or the obsessive-compulsive disorders.The aim of this paper is to summarise briefly the current state of knowledge regarding orthorexia and to point out the difficulties connected with an attempt to classify it in a given disorders group as well as with the attempt to establish the classification criteria.Despite the fact that the problem of orthorexia has been signalled in the Polish media, it has neither been discussed nor published in the Polish medical literature yet. Orthorexia starts when a diet becomes an escape from life–everyday activities are dominated by planning, buying and preparing “proper” meals. Each departure from this regime causes anxiety and guilty conscience and leads to even further tightening of the dietary habits. According to Bratmann, orthorexia is connected with an illusory feeling of safety (preventing from diseases), the urge to exercise a full control over one’s life (elimination of the unpredictable), “a hidden conformism” (eating philosophy helps in a subconscious way to achieve a culturally accepted model of a beautiful body), a search for spirituality and identity, and a desire for self-deprivation.The arguments presented in this paper substantiate the expediency of implementing the epidemiological studies which will show the scale of the problem, its prevalence and conditionings. Data obtained in this way should facilitate the verification of classification criteria and will also help to formulate the diagnostic criteria of orthorexia.
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A Clinical Investigation of Motivation to Change Standards and Cognitions about Failure in Perfectionism.

Filed under: Eating Disorders

Behav Cogn Psychother. 2012 Oct 9; 1-14
Egan SJ, Piek JP, Dyck MJ, Rees CS, Hagger MS

Background: Clinical perfectionism is a transdiagnostic process that has been found to maintain eating disorders, anxiety disorders and depression. Cognitive behavioural models explaining the maintenance of clinical perfectionism emphasize the contribution of dichotomous thinking and resetting standards higher following both success and failure in meeting their goals. There has been a paucity of research examining the predictions of the models and motivation to change perfectionism. Motivation to change is important as individuals with clinical perfectionism often report many perceived benefits of their perfectionism; they are, therefore, likely to be ambivalent regarding changing perfectionism. Aims: The aim was to compare qualitative responses regarding questions about motivation to change standards and cognitions regarding failure to meet a personal standard in two contrasting groups with high and low negative perfectionism. Negative perfectionism refers to concern over not meeting personal standards. Method: A clinical group with a range of axis 1 diagnoses who were elevated on negative perfectionism were compared to a group of athletes who were low on negative perfectionism. Results: Results indicated that the clinical group perceived many negative consequences of their perfectionism. They also, however, reported numerous benefits and the majority stated that they would prefer not to change their perfectionism. The clinical group also reported dichotomous thinking and preferring to either keep standards the same or reset standards higher following failure, whilst the athlete group reported they would keep standards the same or set them lower. Conclusions: The findings support predictions of the cognitive behavioural model of clinical perfectionism.
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Eating Disorders Meal Support: Helpful Approaches for Families – This video provides strategies to help parents and families provide structure and support to youth with eating disorders before, during and after meals.


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