The Effect of Negative Emotions on Food Intake and Maladaptive Eating Behaviour: A Literature Review


Taking into account the existing literature, it seems that negative emotions and maladaptive eating behaviour are interrelated and causally linked. Some research suggests that negative emotion decrease after maladaptive eating behaviour (Smyth et al., 2001) while others suggest that it does not decrease (Evers et al., 2018) or continues to increase (Haedt-Matt and Keel, 2011). The purpose of this presentation is to gain better insight into the role of negative emotions in food intake and eating behaviour through literature review.

The way in which emotions are regulated affects eating behaviour. Usage of maladaptive emotion regulation strategies is responsible for increased eating (Evers et al., 2010). Individuals with eating disorders engage in binge eating to reduce or avoid negative effect (an affect regulation model; Heatherton & Baumeister, 1991).

Numerous studies have shown that negative emotions are associated with overeating, binge eating (Berg et al., 2013) as well as underconsumption of healthy food (Groesz et al., 2012).

Cross-sectional and longitudinal field studies have shown that higher levels of negative emotions predict maladaptive eating behaviour (Spoor et al., 2007; Torres and Nowson, 2007).

The present literature review provide new insight into the area of both psychology of eating and psychology of emotion. It helps to assess emotions and eating behaviour and how they can have an effect on each other.

Author Information
Anna Brytek-Matera, SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Wroclaw, Poland

Paper Information
Conference: ACP2020
Stream: General Psychology

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Posted by amp21