Mood, Emotions, and Eating Disorders

Claus Vögele and E. Leigh Gibson

in The Oxford Handbook of Eating Disorders

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780195373622
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199940318 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Mood, Emotions, and Eating Disorders

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  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychological Assessment and Testing


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Mood and emotions are intrinsically involved with eating. The question is in what ways do these normal emotional relations with food contribute to, or shed light on, the development of abnormal relations with food that eventually become clinical eating disorders (EDs). This chapter discusses basic mechanisms, findings, and models that help our understanding of the interactions between eating and emotions, in both clinical and nonclinical populations. The finding that comorbidity with mood and anxiety disorders is the norm among patients with EDs suggests that EDs may not necessarily be restricted to domains of eating behavior and body image but may also be associated with significant difficulties in affective functioning. This chapter reviews the evidence relating to the notion that EDs are disturbances of mood regulation, in which regulatory strategies specifically related to eating and the body are used to diminish negative affect associated with food, body image, or stress.

Keywords: chocolate; disinhibition; dopamine; emotion regulation; emotional eating; negative affect; opioids; restrained eating; reward; serotonin; stress

Article.  20540 words. 

Subjects: Clinical Psychology ; Psychological Assessment and Testing

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