Indexed on: 02 Mar '10Published on: 02 Mar '10Published in: Eating Behaviors
Research suggests that that binge eating, stress, and depression are prevalent among individuals seeking bariatric surgery. However, ethnic differences in the prevalence of binge eating and binge eating disorder (BED) in this population remain unclear, as does the impact of depression and stress on any such relationship. Further, no studies to date have examined the prevalence of binge eating in Hispanic women presenting for bariatric surgery. This study sought to (a) compare the prevalence and severity of binge eating symptomatology and BED diagnosis in Hispanic, African American, and Caucasian women presenting for gastric bypass surgery, (b) examine the impact of depressive symptoms and stress on binge eating symptomatology, and (c) investigate whether ethnicity moderated any relationship between depression, stress, and binge eating. Results indicated that Hispanic women exhibited equal rates of binge eating symptomatology, BED, and depressive symptomatology as African American and Caucasian women. However, Caucasian women exhibited greater binge eating symptomatology than African American women, and African American women endorsed greater levels of stress than Caucasian women. Across all ethnic groups, depressive symptomatology, but not stress, significantly predicted binge eating severity. These findings suggest that Hispanic women presenting for bariatric surgery report binge eating rates equivalent to Caucasian and African American women, and that depressive symptoms are an important predictor of binge eating in female bariatric surgery candidates across ethnic groups.