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Child & Adolescent Development: Overview

Contextual Factors Linked to Overeating, Loss of Control

HealthDay News

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MONDAY, April 16, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Eating-related factors appear to be most strongly associated with the severity of loss of control (LOC) among young people with overweight or obesity, according to a study published online March 10 in the International Journal of Eating Disorders.

Andrea B. Goldschmidt, Ph.D., from Brown University in Providence, R.I., and colleagues assessed reports of all eating episodes and their physiological, environmental, affective, and interpersonal precursors and correlates among a sample of 40 children (ages 8 to 14 years) and adolescents with overweight/obesity.

The researchers found that eating occasions involving greater food hedonics (i.e., perceived palatability of food being consumed) were correlated with greater LOC severity, but youth with lower overall levels of food hedonics reported higher LOC severity ratings on average. Higher average ratings of LOC severity were also reported by youth with higher overall cravings. Greater average levels of overeating severity were seen among youth reporting greater overall influence of others on eating behavior.

"Interventions targeting maladaptive eating in youth with overweight/obesity may benefit from helping youth incorporate palatable foods and satisfy cravings in a planned and controlled manner, and enhancing awareness of social-contextual effects on eating," the authors write.

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