Do life-events that obese inpatients think happened to them soon before their subjective problematic weight gain have an effect on their current psychopathology over and beyond BMI and binge eating?

Gian Mauro Manzoni, Gianluca Castelnuovo, Valentina Villa, Giada Pietrabissa, Enrico Molinari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The present study had two aims: (1) to investigate life-events that obese inpatients think happened to them during the 6 months preceding their subjective problematic weight gain and (2) to evaluate the associations of such life-events with psychopathology controlling for the effects of gender, age, BMI and binge eating in a large sample of obese inpatients referred to hospital for weight-loss treatment. The analysis used cross-sectional data on 2,900 obese adults from the hospital database. Psychopathology was assessed with the SCL-90 questionnaire, binge eating was evaluated with the Bulimic Investigatory Test, Edinburgh (BITE) and life-events were retrospectively assessed with a pre-defined self-report checklist asking patients to select the events that occurred to them in the 6 months preceding their problematic weight gain. Multivariate analysis of covariance was used to test the association between a pre-defined classification of patients according to the kind of life-events ("no event", "undefined events", "negative events" and "mixed events") with psychopathology controlling for gender, age, BMI and binge eating. The life-events factor was significantly associated with psychopathology even after adjusting for the effects of gender, age, BMI and binge eating. A significant linear trend was evident so that obese patients who reported both negative and undefined events or only negative events had higher levels of psychopathology than patients reporting only undefined events or no event. Though these findings should be considered with caution due to the subjective recall of problematic weight gain and the retrospective assessment of life-events, future studies investigating the link between obesity and psychopathology should not ignore the role of negative life-events that obese patients think happened to them before weight gain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-375
Number of pages9
JournalEating and Weight Disorders
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013

Keywords

  • Inpatient
  • Life-events
  • Mental disorders
  • Obesity
  • Psychopathology
  • Weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology

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