A Prospective Study of Loss of Control Eating for Body Weight Gain in Children at High Risk for Adult Obesity

Int J Eat Disord. 2009 Jan;42(1):26-30. doi: 10.1002/eat.20580.


Objective: Limited data suggest that disordered-eating may predispose children to excessive weight gain. We investigated the relationship between baseline responses to the Eating Disorder Examination adapted for Children (ChEDE) and change in BMI (kg/m(2)) in children at high risk for adult obesity.

Method: Children (6-12 years) were administered the ChEDE to assess loss of control (LOC) eating, dietary restraint, and eating, shape, and weight concern. Height and weight were measured at baseline and annually.

Results: Between July, 1999, and August, 2007, 772 measurements were obtained from 143 children over 4.5 +/- 1.9 years. LOC eating predicted an increased rate of BMI growth over time (p = .02). Compared with children without LOC, those reporting LOC gained an additional mean 2.4 kg of weight per year.

Conclusion: LOC is a salient predictor of weight gain during middle childhood. Interventions that decrease LOC eating should be evaluated for their ability to prevent excessive pediatric weight gain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health*
  • Causality
  • Child
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders of Childhood / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control*
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Obesity / psychology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk
  • Weight Gain*