Adverse life experiences associated with obesity and binge eating disorder

It’s interesting how much our life experiences and overall mental wellness impact our future choices and risk for chronic conditions…

In this article, “life adverse experiences” are defined as, “all kinds of traumatic experiences occurring in childhood, adolescence and adulthood, which include emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, rape, bullying by peers, witnessing domestic violence, and serious accidents that threatened the lives of subjects.”

 

J Behav Addict. 2016 Mar;5(1):11-31. doi: 10.1556/2006.5.2016.018.

Life adverse experiences in relation with obesity and binge eating disorder: A systematic review.

Abstract

Background and aims Several studies report a positive association between adverse life experiences and adult obesity. Despite the high comorbidity between binge eating disorder (BED) and obesity, few authors have studied the link between trauma and BED. In this review the association between exposure to adverse life experiences and a risk for the development of obesity and BED in adulthood is explored. Methods Based on a scientific literature review in Medline, PubMed and PsycInfo databases, the results of 70 studies (N = 306,583 participants) were evaluated including 53 studies on relationship between adverse life experiences and obesity, 7 studies on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in relation to obesity, and 10 studies on the association between adverse life experiences and BED. In addition, mediating factors between the association of adverse life experiences, obesity and BED were examined. Results The majority of studies (87%) report that adverse life experiences are a risk factor for developing obesity and BED. More precisely a positive association between traumatic experiences and obesity and PTSD and obesity were found, respectively, in 85% and 86% of studies. Finally, the great majority of studies (90%) between trauma and the development of BED in adulthood strongly support this association. Meanwhile, different factors mediating between the trauma and obesity link were identified. Discussion and conclusions Although research data show a strong association between life adverse experiences and the development of obesity and BED, more research is needed to explain this association.

KEYWORDS:

binge eating disorder; obesity; trauma

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