Objective: Binge eating is prevalent across socioeconomic status (SES) groups, but it is unclear whether risk factors for binge eating vary by SES. This study examined the prevalence of several risk factors for binge eating by SES and SES as a potential moderator of these risk factors. Method: Participants included 2,179 individuals involved in Project EAT during early/middle adolescence (EAT-I) and 5 years later during late adolescence/emerging adulthood (EAT-II). Risk ratios were computed using modified Poisson regression of incident EAT-II binge eating on EAT-I risk factors among participants of high and low SES. Interactions between each risk factor and SES were tested. Results: Among higher SES adolescents, overweight/obesity (RR = 3.2; 95% CI: 1.8, 5.7), body dissatisfaction (RR = 2.6; 95% confidence intervals (CI): 1.2, 5.5), dieting (RR = 4.0; 95% CI: 2.0, 8.2), and family weight-teasing (RR = 2.3; 95% CI: 1.3, 4.3) predicted increased risk for binge eating. Among adolescents from low-SES backgrounds, overweight/obesity (RR = 1.5; 95% CI: 0.9, 2.5), dieting (RR = 2.2; 95% CI: 1.2, 3.9), and food insecurity (RR = 1.4; 95% CI: 0.7, 2.7) predicted increased risk for binge eating. Moderator analyses revealed that overweight/obesity, body dissatisfaction, dieting, and family weight-teasing were stronger risk factors in the high-SES group than the low-SES group; interactions with food insecurity could not be examined given the low prevalence of food insecurity in the high-SES group. Discussion: Risk factors for binge eating may vary by SES, suggesting the potential utility of modifying intervention and prevention methods based on SES. In particular, the role of food insecurity must be addressed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The project described was supported by grant R01-HL093247 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (PI: Dianne Neumark-Sztainer). Dr. Goldschmidt's time was supported by grant K23-DK105234 from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. The authors have no conflicts of interest to report.
- risk factors
- socioeconomic factors