Disordered eating behavior and mental health correlates among treatment seeking obese women

M. Altamura, G. Rossi, P. Aquilano, P. De Fazio, C. Segura-Garcia, M. Rossetti, A. Petrone, T. Lo Russo, G. Vendemiale, A. Bellomo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Objectives. Previous research has suggest that obesity is associated with increased risk for psychopathological disorders, however, little is known about which obese patients are most vulnerable to psychopathological disorders. We therefore investigated 126 treatment-seeking obese women to describe eating disorder pathology and mental health correlates, and to identify disordered eating behaviors that may place obese at increased risk for psychopathological disorders. Material and Methods. The Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID) was used to identify Eating Disorders (ED). A battery of psychological tests, including the Anxiety Scale Questionnaire (ASQ,) Clinical Depression Questionnaire (CDQ), Eating Disorder Inventory-2 (EDI-2) Eating Attitudes Test-26 (EAT-26) scales and structured clinical interview were administered to all the patients. We analyzed the link between psychopathological disorders and eating attitudes by using both multiple regression analysis and non-parametric correlation. Results. Disordered eating behaviors and emotional behavioral aspects related to Anorexia Nervosa, such as ineffectiveness, are strongly linked to the depression and anxiety in obese subjects. No correlation was found between psychopathological disorders and age or anthropometric measurements. Conclusions. Findings corroborate earlier work indicating that psychological distress is elevated in obese treatment seeking, bolstering the need for mental health assessment of such individuals. The feeling of ineffectiveness constitutes the major predictor of psychopathological aspects. This is an important result which may inform the development of effective interventions for obese patients and prevention of psychopathological disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-334
Number of pages5
JournalClinica Terapeutica
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Anxiety
  • Depression obesity
  • Dieting
  • Eating behaviors
  • Eating disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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