Basic Need Satisfaction, Emotional Eating, and Dietary Restraint as Risk Factors for Recurrent Overeating in a Community Sample
Jessica M. Cleary, Naomi Crafti

This study examined potential risk factors of recurrent overeating by investigating relationships between basic need satisfaction, emotional eating, dietary restraint, body mass index and recurrent overeating. University students and women who accessed overeating related websites (N = 321) completed the Basic Need Satisfaction Inventory, the emotional and restraint subscales of the Dutch Eating Behaviour Questionnaire, the oversnacking and binging subscales of the Yale Eating Patterns Questionnaire; and provided demographic information. The study supported Modeling and Role-Modeling theory, as basic need satisfaction negatively correlated with emotional eating, and self-esteem and self-actualisation significantly predicted emotional eating. Analysis of an adaptation of the cognitive-behavioural model of bulimia nervosa showed that emotional eating mediated the relationship between both self-esteem and self-actualisation and recurrent overeating, and interestingly, dietary restraint was not related to other variables. It was concluded that intervention for binge eating should reflect the importance of psychological triggers rather than only behavioural cues.


Basic need satisfaction; Dietary restraint; Recurrent eating; Emotional eating; Self esteem

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