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Child eating in the absence of hunger and loss of control eating

Sheets, Carrie Suzanne (2011) Child eating in the absence of hunger and loss of control eating. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Laboratory studies in children have found that, following a self-reported satiating meal, girls who consume relatively large amounts of palatable food in the absence of hunger have a higher BMI and gain more weight across middle childhood than do girls who consume less. Loss of control eating (LOC) in children has been associated with increased BMI, aberrant eating, and general psychopathology in cross-sectional and longitudinal research. Eating in the absence of hunger (EAH) appears to be a behavioral analogue of the dietary disinhibition that is a feature of LOC. However, no studies of which we are aware have examined the relationship between a laboratory measure of EAH and LOC. Additionally, the majority of studies examining EAH have been conducted in homogenous samples comprised primarily of non-Hispanic White girls. Thus, the aims of this study were to replicate the EAH paradigm in a racially diverse sample, evaluate the relationship between BMI and EAH, and examine whether EAH consumption was associated with self-reported LOC in a sample of 51 Black and White girls age 10-13 years. Results indicated that girls consumed an average of 339.7 (SD = 283.3) calories in the absence of hunger. EAH intake was not associated with race or BMI. EAH intake predicted LOC, such that for each additional 100 calories consumed, girls were 1.7 times more likely to report LOC. Longitudinal research is needed in younger children to evaluate the nature of EAH as an early behavioral marker of risk for LOC and its sequelae. Additional research is also needed to examine the relationship between mood and EAH in children with LOC. Findings from the current study suggest that EAH may be used to identify young children at risk for development of aberrant eating and weight problems. Future studies should identify young children who consume large amounts during the EAH procedure and design interventions aimed at reducing eating that is in response to environmental cues.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Sheets, Carrie
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMarcus, Marshamarcusmd@upmc.eduMMARCUS
Committee MemberMarsland, Annamarsland@pitt.eduMARSLAND
Committee MemberPogue-Geile, Michaelmfpg@pitt.eduMFPG
Committee MemberLevine, Michelelevinem@upmc.eduMLEVINE
Committee MemberNoll,
Date: 30 September 2011
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 13 May 2011
Approval Date: 30 September 2011
Submission Date: 18 August 2011
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: appetite; binge eating; childhood obesity; overweight; satiety
Other ID:, etd-08182011-152309
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:00
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2016 14:37


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