Disinhibited eating mediates differences in attachment insecurity between bariatric surgery candidates/ recipients and lean controls.

Laura Wilkinson, Angela Rowe, Caitlin sheldon, Andrew Johnson, Jeff Brunstrom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

6 Citations (Scopus)
344 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Previous research has shown that attachment anxiety is a good predictor of body mass index (BMI). This relationship is significantly mediated by disinhibited (over-) eating and is likely to reflect a specific form of affect regulation. This study explored whether obese bariatric surgery candidates (BSC; N = 34) and bariatric surgery recipients (BSR; N = 15) would show higher levels of attachment insecurity (higher attachment anxiety and/or higher attachment avoidance) than a group of age and gender-matched lean controls (N = 54). Mediation analyses showed that compared to lean controls (M = 2.96, SE = .1), both BSC (M = 3.5, SE = .2) and BSR (M = 3.4, SE = .2) groups had a more insecure attachment orientation. These relationships were significantly mediated by disinhibited eating (BSC: LLCI = .06 & ULCI = .62; BSR: LLCI = .02 & ULCI = .76). There was no such relationship when the BSC and BSR groups were compared (LLCI = -.15 & ULCI = .3). These observations suggest that attachment insecurity may be a risk factor for obesity and bariatric surgery because of associated disinhibited eating. Moreover, these factors may be important to consider when bariatric surgery results in poor outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2017

Structured keywords

  • Brain and Behaviour
  • Cognitive Science
  • Social Cognition
  • Nutrition and Behaviour

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