Negative affect and past month binge eating may drive perceptions of loss of control.

Research paper by A R AR Bottera, A M AM Thiel, K P KP De Young

Indexed on: 10 Jun '18Published on: 10 Jun '18Published in: Appetite


To evaluate how subjective control over intake is influenced by objective aspects of consumption, negative affect, and recent binge eating. 105 participants with or without current binge eating (BE) consumed a meal replacement shake following a 12-hour overnight fast in a 2 × 2 design: participants were instructed to either consume the entire shake (no control) or decide on their own how much to consume (affirmative control). They were allotted either 5 (fast) or 15 (slow) minutes to complete the task. Participants reported on subjective control and negative affect following consumption. Compared to the slow condition, participants in the fast condition reported higher negative affect after eating. Individuals without a history of BE reported lower subjective control in the no control compared to the affirmative control condition; however, this pattern was reversed among those with BE, such that individuals reported higher subjective control following consumption in the no control condition. In addition, subjective control was positively associated with negative affect in the no control condition whereas it was negatively associated with negative affect in the affirmative control condition. Eating rate influences affect, and subjective control over eating may be the result of an interaction of objective control with affect. Thus, distress may drive perceptions of control. This should be directly tested in future studies and has implications for how we understand BE. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.