Management in Health, Vol 25, No 3 (2021)

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MINDFULNESS AND SUBJECTIVE VITALITY AS MEDIATORS OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN DEPRESSION, ANXIETY, STRESS AND EMOTIONAL EATING

Raluca SFETCU, Dragoș ILIESCU

Abstract


Current scientific evidence shows that emotional eating is a risk factor for obesity as well as for the development of eating disorders. It is also well established that depression, anxiety and stress are predictors for emotional eating. Research is now moving towards understanding the mediating factors of this relationship in order to develop effective intervention programs for the management of emotional eating. The aim of this study is to explore the relationship between depression, anxiety and stress and emotional eating and to test the potential for mediating subjective vitality, mindfulness and emotion regulation strategies. This is a cross-sectional study, conducted on an opportunistic sample of 2632 people; data collection was via a "Google forms". The questionnaire included a section on demographics (sex, age, education, occupation, marital status, monthly income), and measurement scales for both the dependent variable (emotional eating) and the independent variables (stress, depression, anxiety, subjective vitality, mindfulness, emotion regulation). The results indicate that emotional eating is a very common behavior in the study population, with 43.1% of participants having this tendency. Depression, anxiety, and stress correlate positively with emotion eating, while subjective vitality, mindfulness, and emotion regulation correlate negatively. Subjective vitality mediates both the impact of depression and anxiety on eating emotionally and mindfulness only that of depression. At the clinical level, this study indicates the need to develop programs focused on detecting a potential underlying depression when emotional eating is present as well as the development of programs based on increasing subjective vitality and training mindfulness to reduce emotional eating.

 

Keywords: emotional eating , depression, anxiety, emotional stress.


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Journal published by SNSPMS