Eating behaviour analysis and its psychological factors in non-obese university population

José Luis López Morales


The eating beahaviour of obese population can be influenced by various psychological factors such us eating restriction, lack of control or emotional eating. Although in most ocassions this variables have been studied in obese population, the aim of this study is to evaluate the relations between this factors with eating behaviour in non-obese population and relate this behaviour with Edorexia Syndrome. A battery of psychological tests was applied to 75 students of Murcia University, this battery consisted of the Edorexia Syndrome Questionnaire, Big Five Personality Questionnaire and the Coping Response Inventory  (CRI-A).  The results showed how the Edorexia Syndrome was related with a dicrease in emotional stability, emotional control and positive reevaluation as well as an increase in acceptance and resignation. In addition, people with Edorexia Syndrome were related to dieting, food deprivation, exercising and consumption without needing. This results are explained by the Five Ways Theory (Macht, 2008) which relates the lack of skills to cope with emotions with the uncontrollable abuse of food.


Eating Beahaviour; psychological factors; emotional eating; restriction eating

Full Text:

PDF PDF (Español)


Balantekin, K. N. & Roemmich, J. N. (2012). Children’s coping after psychological stress. Choices among food, physical activity, and television. Appetite, 59(2), 298-304.

Beiseigel, J. M. & Nickols-Richardson, S. M. (2004). Cognitive eating restraint scores are associated with body fatness but not with other measures of dieting in women. Appetite, 43(1), 47-53.

Benard, M., Camilleri, G. M., Etile, F., Mejean, C., Bellisle, F., Reach, G., … Peneau, S. (2017). Association between Impulsivity and Weight Status in a General Population. Nutrients, 9(3), 217.

Blum, K., Liu, Y., Shriner, R. & Gold, M. S. (2011). Reward circuitry dopaminergic activation regulates food and drug craving behavior. Current Pharmaceutical Design, 17(12), 1158-1167.

Boersma, G. J., Benthem, L., van Dijk, G & Scheurink, A. J. (2011). Individual variation in the (patho)physiology of energy balance. Physiology & Behavior, 103(1), 89-97.

Boersma, G. J., Scheurink, A. J., Wielinga, P. Y., Steimer, T. J & Benthem, L. (2009). The passive coping Roman Low Avoidance rat, a non-obese rat model for insulin resistance. Physiology & Behavior, 97(3-4), 353-358.

Bollen, E & Wojciechowski, F. L. (2004). Anorexia nervosa subtypes and the big five personality factors. European Eating Disorders Review, 12(2), 117-121.

Boon, B., Stroebe, W., Schut, H & Jansen, A. (1998). Food for thought: Cognitive regulation of food intake. British Journal of Health Psychology, 3(1), 27-40.

Boschi, V., Iorio, D., Margiotta, N., D’Orsi, P & Falconi, C. (2001). The three-factor eating questionnaire in the evaluation of eating behaviour in subjects seeking participation in a dietotherapy programme. Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism, 45(2), 72-77.

Bulik, C. M., Sullivan, P. F., Tozzi, F., Furberg, H., Lichtenstein, P & Pedersen, N. L. (2006). Prevalence, heritability, and prospective risk factors for anorexia nervosa. Archives of General Psychiatry, 63(3), 305-312.

Caprara, G. V., Barbaranelli, C., Borgogni, L & Perugini, M. (1993). The «big five questionnaire»: A new questionnaire to assess the five factor model. Personality and Individual Differences, 15(3), 281-288.

Heaven, P. C., Mulligan, K., Merrilees, R., Woods, T & Fairooz, Y. (2001). Neuroticism and conscientiousness as predictors of emotional, external, and restrained eating behaviors. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 30(2), 161-166.

Herman, C. P. & Mack, D. (1975). Restrained and unrestrained eating1. Journal of Personality, 43(4), 647-660.

Herman, C. P. & Polivy, J. (1984). A boundary model for the regulation of eating. Research Publications - Association for Research in Nervous and Mental Disease, 62, 141-156.

Keller, C. & Siegrist, M. (2015). Does personality influence eating styles and food choices? Direct and indirect effects. Appetite, 84, 128-138.

Koff, E. & Sangani, P. (1997). Effects of coping style and negative body image on eating disturbance. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 22(1), 51-56.

Lattimore, P. & Maxwell, L. (2004). Cognitive load, stress, and disinhibited eating. Eating Behaviors, 5(4), 315-324.

Lauzon-Guillain, B. , Basdevant, A., Romon, M., Karlsson, J., Borys, J.-M., Charles, M. A. & Group, T. F. S. (2006). Is restrained eating a risk factor for weight gain in a general population? The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 83(1), 132-138.

Lawson, O. J., Williamson, D. A., Champagne, C. M., DeLany, J. P., Brooks, E. R., Howat, P. M., … Ryan, D. H. (1995). The association of body weight, dietary intake, and energy expenditure with dietary restraint and disinhibition. Obesity Research, 3(2), 153-161.

Lee, J. M., Greening, L. & Stoppelbein, L. (2007). The moderating effect of avoidant coping on restrained eaters’ risk for disinhibited eating: Implications for dietary relapse prevention. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 45(10), 2334-2348.

Leigh Gibson, E. & Green, M. W. (2002). Nutritional influences on cognitive function: mechanisms of susceptibility. Nutrition Research Reviews, 15(1), 169-206.

Lindroos, A. K., Lissner, L., Mathiassen, M. E., Karlsson, J., Sullivan, M., Bengtsson, C. & Sjöström, L. (1997). Dietary intake in relation to restrained eating, disinhibition, and hunger in obese and nonobese Swedish women. Obesity Research, 5(3), 175-182.

Lluch, A., Herbeth, B., Méjean, L. & Siest, G. (2000). Dietary intakes, eating style and overweight in the Stanislas Family Study. International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders: Journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity, 24(11), 1493-1499.

López-Morales, J. L. & Garcés de los Fayos, E. J. (2012). Hacia una integración comprensiva de la obesidad desde una perspectiva multidisciplinar. Nutrición Hospitalaria, 27(6), 1810-1816.

López-Morales, J. L. & Garcés de los Fayos, E. J. (2014). Síndrome de Edorexia: evaluación y diagnóstico. Salud Pública de México, 56(3), 242-243.

Macht, M. (2008). How emotions affect eating: A five-way model. Appetite, 50(1), 1-11.

Macht, M. & Mueller, J. (2007). Immediate effects of chocolate on experimentally induced mood states. Appetite, 49(3), 667-674.

MacLaren, V. V. & Best, L. A. (2009). Female students’ disordered eating and the big five personality facets. Eating Behaviors, 10(3), 192-195.

Meule, A. (2011). How Prevalent is Food Addiction?. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 2.

Moos, R. H. (1993). Coping Responses Inventary. CRI-Adult form. Professional Manual. Odesaa: PAR, Inc.

Mueller, A., Claes, L., Mitchell, J. E., Wonderlich, S. A., Crosby, R. D. & de Zwaan, M. (2010). Personality prototypes in individuals with compulsive buying based on the Big Five Model. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 48(9), 930-935.

Pelchat, M. L. (2009). Food Addiction in Humans. The Journal of Nutrition, jn.108.097816.

Schachter, S., Goldman, R. & Gordon, A. (1968). Effects of fear, food deprivation, and obesity on eating. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 10(2), 91-97.

Stoeckel, L. E., Birch, L. L., Heatherton, T., Mann, T., Hunter, C., Czajkowski, S., … Savage, C. R. (2017). Psychological and Neural Contributions to Appetite Self-Regulation. Obesity, 25, S17-S25.

Volkow, N. D., Wang, G.-J., Telang, F., Fowler, J. S., Thanos, P. K., Logan, J., … Pradhan, K. (2008). Low dopamine striatal D2 receptors are associated with prefrontal metabolism in obese subjects: Possible contributing factors. Neuroimage, 42(4), 1537-1543.

Wallis, D. J. & Hetherington, M. M. (2004). Stress and eating: the effects of ego-threat and cognitive demand on food intake in restrained and emotional eaters. Appetite, 43(1), 39-46.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2018 Servicio de Publicaciones, University of Murcia (Spain)

Open AccessSello de Calidad FECyT 2013ClarivAnaliticsWJ.jpgScielo-Españadoajscimago