Factors Associated With Emotional Eating and BMI: a sem Modelling Approach
1NUI Galway, Ireland
Background: There is evidence to suggest that childhood environmental factors play an important role in the development of eating pathology and emotional eating. Few studies have addressed protective factors against emotional eating. The current study aimed to elucidate some of the processes involved. Method: 573 participants completed measures including BMI, emotional eating, remembered parenting style, attachment, attitudes towards emotional expression in childhood, and ability to observe oneself in the moment. Findings: An SEM revealed age, gender, and the ability to observe oneself in the moment as having significant direct effects on BMI and emotional eating. Attachment and remembered parenting style had indirect effects which were mediated by attitudes towards emotional expression in childhood. Discussion: Childhood environmental factors, particularly attitudes towards emotional expression, have a role in the development of emotional eating in adults. The preventative role of mindfulness-based skills, particularly those focusing on observing oneself in the moment need to be further investigated.