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Association between emotional eating, energy-dense foods and overeating in Latinos

Lopez-Cepero, Andrea, Frisard, Christine F., Lemon, Stephenie C., Rosal, Milagros C.
Eating behaviors 2019
Latinos, community health, equations, females, food frequency questionnaires, food intake, high energy foods, obesity, overeating
Latinos experience disparities in obesity. Although causes of obesity are multifactorial, overeating is a major contributor. Emotional eating (EE) is associated with obesity and with intake of energy-dense foods. However, the relationship between EE and overeating, and the mediating role of energy-dense foods on this relationship, has not been studied.This study examined the association between EE and overeating among Latinos and the potential mediating role of energy-dense food consumption on this relationship.This study had a cross-sectional design. Participants were recruited from a community health center. EE was assessed with the Three Factor Eating Behavior Questionnaire R18-V2. Overeating was calculated from the Mifflin-St Jeor equation. Energy-dense food intake was assessed with a Food Frequency Questionnaire. Mediation was tested with bootstrapping.Participants (n = 200) were 53.5% female and 78% were overweight or obese. Approximately 60% of the sample reported EE and 45.5% engaged in overeating. Percentage of calories from energy-dense foods was 23%. EE was significantly associated with overeating (OR total effect = 1.23; 95%CI = 1.03, 1.45) and this relationship was partly mediated by intake of energy-dense foods (OR indirect effect = 1.06; 95%CI = 1.02, 1.15; mediated proportion = 31.5%).In this Latino sample, EE was positively associated with overeating and intake of energy-dense foods partially mediated this association. Examination of longitudinal associations between EE, energy-dense foods, overeating and obesity is warranted. Understanding these associations may provide information to develop effective interventions to prevent and manage obesity among Latinos.