Food addiction (FA) has been associated with binge eating disorder (BED) and obesity at varying levels of severity and treatment outcomes. Despite much debate and scientific interest in FA, the mechanisms that underlie its co-occurrence with both conditions are not yet well understood. In order to understand this relationship, this study explores FA in a clinical sample of individuals with BED and obesity using network analysis (NA). A total of 303 patients (151 with BED and 152 with obesity) completed a battery of tests that investigated eating psychopathology, eating behaviours, emotional dysregulation, depression and FA. Two different NAs were conducted to investigate the interaction between these variables and FA. The BED and obesity groups were comparable in age (38 +/- 14 vs. 42 +/- 13 years), body mass index (38.8 +/- 8.5 vs 42.4 +/- 7.8), sex and demographics. According to the expected influence values, binge eating severity and depression were identified as the central nodes in both networks. In the BED group, binge eating severity was the central node and showed strong connections to both FA and grazing. In contrast, in the obesity group, depression was the central node, but its connections were weak, with only marginal associations to FA. These results suggest that FA represents an important and distinct construct of the two populations. In patients with BED, FA is intimately connected to other loss-of-control-related eating behaviours, such as binge eating and grazing. Conversely, in those with obesity, depression explains the relationship of FA with pathological eating behaviours. The presence of FA seems to be a distinguishing characteristic in the psychopathology of patients suffering from obesity with and without BED, and this could have implications for the prevention, treatment and management of these disorders.

The relationship of food addiction with binge eating disorder and obesity: A network analysis study

Carbone, Elvira Anna;Aloi, Matteo;Rania, Marianna;de Filippis, Renato;Quirino, Daria;Fiorentino, Teresa Vanessa;Segura-Garcia, Cristina
2023-01-01

Abstract

Food addiction (FA) has been associated with binge eating disorder (BED) and obesity at varying levels of severity and treatment outcomes. Despite much debate and scientific interest in FA, the mechanisms that underlie its co-occurrence with both conditions are not yet well understood. In order to understand this relationship, this study explores FA in a clinical sample of individuals with BED and obesity using network analysis (NA). A total of 303 patients (151 with BED and 152 with obesity) completed a battery of tests that investigated eating psychopathology, eating behaviours, emotional dysregulation, depression and FA. Two different NAs were conducted to investigate the interaction between these variables and FA. The BED and obesity groups were comparable in age (38 +/- 14 vs. 42 +/- 13 years), body mass index (38.8 +/- 8.5 vs 42.4 +/- 7.8), sex and demographics. According to the expected influence values, binge eating severity and depression were identified as the central nodes in both networks. In the BED group, binge eating severity was the central node and showed strong connections to both FA and grazing. In contrast, in the obesity group, depression was the central node, but its connections were weak, with only marginal associations to FA. These results suggest that FA represents an important and distinct construct of the two populations. In patients with BED, FA is intimately connected to other loss-of-control-related eating behaviours, such as binge eating and grazing. Conversely, in those with obesity, depression explains the relationship of FA with pathological eating behaviours. The presence of FA seems to be a distinguishing characteristic in the psychopathology of patients suffering from obesity with and without BED, and this could have implications for the prevention, treatment and management of these disorders.
2023
Binge eating disorder
Depression
Eating behaviours
Food addiction
Network analysis
Obesity
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12317/91979
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