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Emotional eaters susceptible to weight regain
Date:11/8/2007

Providence, RI - Just in time for the start of the holiday eating season - a new study finds that dieters who have the tendency to eat in response to external factors, such as at festive celebrations, have fewer problems with their weight loss than those who eat in response to emotions (internal factors). Led by researchers at The Miriam Hospitals Weight Control & Diabetes Research Center, the study also found that emotional eating was associated with weight regain in successful losers.

The study is published in the October 2007 issue of Obesity.

We found that the more people report eating in response to thoughts and feelings, such as, when I feel lonely, I console myself by eating, the less weight they lost in a behavioral weight loss program. In addition, amongst successful weight losers, those who report emotional eating are more likely to regain, says lead author Heather Niemeier, Ph.D., of The Miriam Hospitals Weight Control & Diabetes Research Center and The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

This is important, the authors note, because one of greatest challenges facing the field of obesity treatment remains the problem of weight regain following weight loss.

Participants in behavioral weight loss programs lose an average of 10 percent of their body weight and these losses are associated with significant health benefits. Unfortunately, the majority of participants return to their baseline weight within three to five years, Niemeier says.

In this study, researchers analyzed individuals responses to a questionnaire widely used in obesity research called the Eating Inventory. The Eating Inventory is a clinical tool that is designed to assess three aspects of eating behavior in individuals cognitive restraint, hunger, and disinhibition.

Specifically, Niemeier and her team focused on the disinhibition component of the Eating Inventory because although past studies have suggested that
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Contact: Megan Martin
mmartin@lifespan.org
401-793-7484
Lifespan
Source:Eurekalert

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