International Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 375-384

First online:

Examining the Associations Between Overeating, Disinhibition, and Hunger in a Nonclinical Sample of College Women

  • Geneviève MaillouxAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Université du Québec à Montréal
  • , Sophie BergeronAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Université de Montréal Email author 
  • , Dominique MeilleurAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Université de Montréal
  • , Bianca D’AntonoAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Université de MontréalMontreal Heart Institute
  • , Isabelle DubéAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Université du Québec à Montréal

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Binge eating (BE) has long been identified as a correlate of overweight and obesity. However, less empirical attention has been given to overeating with and without loss of control (LOC) in nonclinical samples.


The goal of the present study was to examine the association of (1) established correlates of BE, namely, weight and shape concerns, dietary restraint, and negative affect, and (2) three additional correlates, disinhibition, hunger, and interoceptive awareness (IA), to overeating in a nonclinical sample of college women.


Female students (n = 1,447) aged 18 to 21 years recruited from colleges in three Canadian metropolitan areas completed self-report questionnaires in class to assess sociodemographic and anthropomorphic characteristics, overeating, LOC, dietary restraint, negative affect, weight and shape concerns, IA, disinhibition, and hunger.


The established correlates of BE were significant correlates of all types of overeating and explained 33 % of the variance. Disinhibition was the most strongly associated correlate of overeating.


Findings suggest that established correlates of BE are associated with other types of overeating such as objective overeating (OOE), as are disinhibition and hunger.


Overeating Loss of control Disinhibition Hunger Dietary restraint Weight and shape concerns