Food cravings, binge eating, and eating disorder psychopathology: Exploring the moderating roles of gender and race

Eat Behav. 2016 Apr;21:41-7. doi: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2015.12.007. Epub 2015 Dec 18.


Objective: To examine the moderating effects of gender and race on the relationships among food cravings, binge eating, and eating disorder psychopathology in a community sample.

Methods: Data were collected from a convenience sample of 320 adults (53% male; mean age 28.5±8.2years; mean BMI 27.1±5.2kg/m(2); mean education 15.1±2.2years; 64% white, 24% black, and 13% other race) participating in a cross-sectional study examining the interactions between stress, self-control and addiction. Participants completed a comprehensive assessment panel including a demographic questionnaire, the Food Craving Inventory, and Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire. Data were analyzed using multiple logistic regression for binge eating behavior and multiple linear regression for eating disorder psychopathology.

Results: Overall, food cravings demonstrated significant main effects for binge eating behavior (adjusted OR=2.65, p<.001) and global eating disorder psychopathology (B=.47±.09, p<.001). Females had a stronger relationship between food cravings and eating disorder psychopathology than males; there were no statistically significant differences by race.

Conclusion: These findings, based on a diverse sample recruited from the community, suggest that food cravings are associated with binge eating and eating disorder psychopathology and may represent an important target for interventions.

Keywords: Binge eating; Food cravings; Gender; Race.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Behavior, Addictive / diagnosis
  • Behavior, Addictive / psychology
  • Binge-Eating Disorder / diagnosis
  • Binge-Eating Disorder / psychology*
  • Black or African American / psychology
  • Craving*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / diagnosis
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / psychology
  • Female
  • Food*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychopathology
  • Racial Groups / psychology*
  • Self Report
  • Self-Control / psychology
  • Sex Characteristics*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • White People / psychology
  • Young Adult