State emotion modulation and loss-of-control eating in individuals with obesity: A preliminary ecological momentary assessment study.

Affiliation

Parker MN(1), Michael M(2), Murray HB(3), Juarascio AS(4), Manasse SM(5).
Author information:
(1)Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
(USUHS), 4301 Jones Bridge Road, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA; Section on Growth and Obesity, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
(NICHD), Division of Intramural Research, National Institutes of Health
(NIH), 10 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA; Department of Psychology, Drexel University, Stratton Hall, 3141 Chestnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.
(2)Center for Weight, Eating and Lifestyle Science
(WELL Center), Drexel University, Stratton Hall, 3141 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.
(3)Department of Psychology, Drexel University, Stratton Hall, 3141 Chestnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.
(4)Department of Psychology, Drexel University, Stratton Hall, 3141 Chestnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA; Center for Weight, Eating and Lifestyle Science
(WELL Center), Drexel University, Stratton Hall, 3141 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.
(5)Center for Weight, Eating and Lifestyle Science
(WELL Center), Drexel University, Stratton Hall, 3141 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

There is ample evidence linking broad trait emotion regulation deficits and negative affect with loss-of-control (LOC)-eating among individuals with obesity and binge eating, however, few studies have examined emotion regulation at the state-level. Within and across day fluctuations in the ability to modulate emotion (or regulate emotional and behavioral responses), one facet of state emotion regulation, may be a more robust momentary predictor of LOC-eating than momentary negative affect and trait emotion regulation ability. As such, the current study tested if daily emotion modulation, and daily variability in emotion modulation differed on days with and without LOC-eating episodes, and if momentary emotion modulation was associated with subsequent LOC-eating episodes. For two weeks individuals (N = 14) with obesity and binge eating completed surveys as part of an ecological momentary assessment study. Participants reported on current ability to modulate emotion, LOC-eating, and current negative affect. On LOC-eating days compared to non-LOC-eating days, ability to modulate emotion was poorer (β =0.10, p < .001) and average variability in ability to modulation emotions was greater (β = 0.56, p = .008), even when controlling for negative affect. Greater momentary difficulty modulating emotion was associated with a 40% increase in subsequent risk for LOC-eating (ß = 0.34, p = .071, OR = 1.40). Findings from this pilot study suggest that individuals with obesity report poorer ability to modulate emotion and greater variability in ability to modulate emotion on LOC-eating days, even when controlling for negative affect. Future research should replicate findings and further elucidate the relationships between state emotion regulation, negative affect, and LOC-eating.