Ecological Momentary Assessment in Eating Disorder and Obesity Research: a Review of the Recent Literature

Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2016 Apr;18(4):37. doi: 10.1007/s11920-016-0672-7.


Our current understanding of the etiology and maintenance of eating disorders and obesity continues to be far from complete. Similarly, our understanding of determinants of both successful and unsuccessful weight loss surgery is also quite limited. While a number of research methodologies have been applied to these areas, one methodology that has recently seen a rise in popularity is the use of ecological momentary assessment (EMA). EMA allows one to study a variety of variables of interest in the natural environment. The study of eating disorders, obesity, and bariatric surgery has all been conducted using EMA recently. The current study is a review of these areas and summarizes the recent literature (past 3 years) in eating disorders, obesity, and bariatric surgery using EMA methodology.

Keywords: Bariatric surgery; Disordered eating; Eating disorders; Ecological momentary assessment; Gastric bypass surgery; Momentary assessment; Naturalistic assessment; Obesity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bariatric Surgery*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / complications
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Obesity / diagnosis*
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Obesity / surgery*
  • Research Design