A double burden: emotional eating and lack of cognitive reappraisal in eating disordered women

Eur Eat Disord Rev. 2012 Nov;20(6):490-5. doi: 10.1002/erv.2184. Epub 2012 May 15.


Objective: To examine the influence of emotional eating and lack of cognitive reappraisal on eating pathology in women with binge-purge and restricting type eating disorders.

Method: Women with a diagnosis of anorexia or bulimia nervosa according to the DSM-IV-tr (n = 50) and non-clinical women without eating disorders (n = 52) were asked about emotional eating tendencies, adaptive emotion regulation strategies (cognitive reappraisal) and eating pathology symptoms.

Results: In binge-purging women, emotional eating with limited use of cognitive reappraisal predicted level of eating pathology but not in the restricting and non-clinical women.

Discussion: Emotional eating tendencies in combination with a low tendency to use cognitive reappraisal may influence the severity of eating pathology in individuals with binge-purge behaviours. Evidently, patients with these characteristics require a therapy that addresses adaptive emotion regulation skills.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anorexia Nervosa / psychology*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Bulimia / psychology
  • Bulimia Nervosa / psychology*
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Emotions / physiology*
  • Feeding Behavior / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Surveys and Questionnaires