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Journal Article


Hazzard VM, Hahn SL, Bauer KW, Sonneville KR. Eat. Behav. 2019; 32: 90-94.


Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Michigan School of Public Health, 1415 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA. Electronic address:


(Copyright © 2019, Elsevier Publishing)






OBJECTIVE: To examine longitudinal associations between binge eating-related concerns (i.e., cognitions associated with binge eating, such as embarrassment over amount eaten and fear of losing control over eating) and depressive symptoms among U.S. young adults and assess whether associations differ by race/ethnicity.

METHODS: This study used longitudinal data from Waves III (baseline; mean age = 21.77 years) and IV (follow-up; mean age = 28.76 years) of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (N = 12,040). Linear regression models were run to examine associations between binge eating-related concerns at baseline and depressive symptoms at follow-up, adjusting for demographic covariates, baseline body mass index, and baseline depressive symptoms.

RESULTS: At baseline, 5.9% of participants reported embarrassment over amount eaten, 2.1% reported fear of losing control over eating, and 0.9% reported both binge eating-related concerns. In adjusted models, embarrassment over amount eaten (B = 0.81, p < .001), fear of losing control over eating (B = 1.57, p < .001), and endorsement of both binge eating-related concerns (B = 1.75, p < .001) at baseline were associated with higher depressive symptoms seven years later. The association between fear of losing control over eating and depressive symptoms differed by race/ethnicity (p = .001). Fear of losing control over eating was associated with higher depressive symptoms among non-Hispanic whites (B = 2.51, p < .001) and Asians/Pacific Islanders (B = 2.54, p = .009) but not among non-Hispanic blacks (B = -0.55, p = .48) or Hispanics/Latinos (B = -0.11, p = .92).

DISCUSSION: Binge eating-related concerns may contribute to depression risk among young adults, particularly among non-Hispanic whites and Asians/Pacific Islanders. Early identification of these cognitions and early intervention may help reduce depression risk in young adulthood.

Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Language: en


Depression; Feeding and eating disorders; Young adult


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