From socioeconomic disadvantage to obesity: The mediating role of psychological distress and emotional eating

Journal article


Spinosa, Jade, Christiansen, Paul, Dickson, Joanne M., Lorenzetti, Valentina and Hardman, Charlotte A.. (2019) From socioeconomic disadvantage to obesity: The mediating role of psychological distress and emotional eating. Obesity. 27(4), pp. 559 - 564. https://doi.org/10.1002/oby.22402
AuthorsSpinosa, Jade, Christiansen, Paul, Dickson, Joanne M., Lorenzetti, Valentina and Hardman, Charlotte A.
Abstract

Objective Lower socioeconomic status is robustly associated with obesity; however, the underpinning psychological mechanisms remain unclear. The current study sought to determine whether the relationship between lower socioeconomic status and obesity is explained by psychological distress and subsequent emotional eating as a coping strategy. It also examined whether psychological resilience plays a protective role in this pathway. Methods Participants (N  = 150) from a range of socioeconomic backgrounds completed questionnaire measures of psychological distress, emotional eating, and resilience. They reported their income and education level as an indicator of socioeconomic status and their height and weight in order to calculate BMI. Results There was a significant indirect effect of socioeconomic status on BMI via psychological distress and emotional eating; specifically, lower socioeconomic status was associated with higher distress, higher distress was associated with higher emotional eating, and higher emotional eating was associated with higher BMI (b [SE] = −0.02 [0.01]; 95% CI: −0.04 to −0.01). However, resilience was not a significant moderator of this association. Conclusions Psychological distress and subsequent emotional eating represent a serial pathway that links lower socioeconomic status with obesity. Targeting these maladaptive coping behaviors may be one strategy to reduce obesity in low‐income populations.

Year2019
JournalObesity
Journal citation27 (4), pp. 559 - 564
PublisherWiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN1930-7381
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1002/oby.22402
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85063323082
Open accessOpen access
Page range559 - 564
Research GroupSchool of Philosophy
Publisher's version
License
Place of publicationUnited States of America
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