Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms and Problematic Overeating Behaviors in Young Men and Women

Susan M Mason, Patricia A Frazier, S. Bryn Austin, Bernard L. Harlow, Benita Jackson, Nancy C Raymond, Janet W. Rich-Edwards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a risk factor for obesity, but the range of behaviors that contribute to this association are not known. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine associations between self-reported PTSD symptoms in 2007, with and without comorbid depression symptoms, and three problematic overeating behaviors in 2010, and to estimate the associations of PTSD-related overeating behaviors with obesity. Methods: Cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses included 7438 male (n = 2478) and female (n = 4960) participants from the Growing Up Today Study (mean age 22–29 years in 2010). Three eating behavior outcomes were assessed: binge eating (eating a large amount of food in a short period of time with loss of control), top quartile of coping-motivated eating (from the Motivations to Eat scale), and top quartile of disinhibited eating (from the Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire). Results: PTSD symptoms were associated with two- to threefold increases in binge eating and top-quartile coping-motivated eating; having ≥4 PTSD symptoms, relative to no PTSD symptoms, was associated with covariate-adjusted RRs of 2.7 (95% CI 2.1, 3.4) for binge eating, 2.1 (95% CI 1.9, 2.4) for the top quartile of coping-motivated eating, and 1.5 (95% CI 1.3, 1.7) for the top quartile of disinhibited eating. There was a trend toward PTSD symptoms in 2007 predicting new onset binge eating in 2010. Having depression symptoms comorbid with PTSD symptoms further increased risk of binge eating and coping-motivated eating. All eating behaviors were associated with obesity. Conclusion: Clinicians treating patients with PTSD should know of potential comorbid problematic eating behaviors that may contribute to obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)822-832
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of Behavioral Medicine
Volume51
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding Dr. Mason is supported by the Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health Grant (No. K12HD055887) from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the Office of Research on Women’s Health, and the National Institute on Aging, NIH, administered by the University of Minnesota Deborah E. Powell Center for Women’s Health. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the office views of the NICHD or NIH. This work was also supported by the National Institutes of Health grants R01 HD066963 and R01 HD049889. Dr. Austin is supported by the US Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration grants 6T71-MC00009 and T76-MC00001.

Funding Information:
Dr. Mason is supported by the Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women?s Health Grant (No. K12HD055887) from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the Office of Research on Women?s Health, and the National Institute on Aging, NIH, administered by the University of Minnesota Deborah E. Powell Center for Women?s Health. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the office views of the NICHD or NIH. This work was also supported by the National Institutes of Health grants R01 HD066963 and R01 HD049889. Dr. Austin is supported by the US Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration grants 6T71-MC00009 and T76-MC00001.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, The Society of Behavioral Medicine.

Keywords

  • Binge eating
  • Depression
  • Eating behavior
  • Obesity
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder

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