Interoceptive reliance as a major determinant of emotional eating in adult obesity

J Health Psychol. 2021 Oct;26(12):2118-2130. doi: 10.1177/1359105320903093. Epub 2020 Jan 31.


This study examined the association between emotional eating, emotion dysregulations, and interoceptive sensibility in 116 patients with obesity by distinguishing an "awareness" and a "reliance" component of interoceptive sensibility. Deficits in interoceptive awareness were only associated with more emotional eating in obesity through less interoceptive reliance and more emotion dysregulations. The results suggest that good interoceptive awareness can increase the risk of emotional eating if not supported by good interoceptive reliance. Interoceptive reliance, like the ability to trust, positively consider, and positively use inner sensations, should be a privileged target of psychotherapeutic interventions in obesity.

Keywords: emotion regulation; emotional eating; interoception; interoceptive awareness obesity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Awareness
  • Emotions
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Interoception*
  • Obesity
  • Sensation
  • Trust