Examining the Relationship Between Pain Intensity and Emotional Eating Among Latinos in a Federally Qualified Health Center: The Role of Anxiety Sensitivity


There is limited understanding of pain and its relationship to emotional eating among Latinos as well as knowledge about potential mechanisms that may underlie their association. We explored whether anxiety sensitivity (fear of the negative consequences of anxiety) explained the relation between pain intensity and emotional eating among a sample of Latinos. Participants were 79 (87.3% female; Mage = 42.04, SD = 12.01) predominately female Latino attendees of a Federally Qualified Health Center. As hypothesized, results indicated that pain intensity yielded a significant indirect effect through anxiety sensitivity for emotional eating. Alternative models wherein anxiety sensitivity served as the predictor and pain intensity as the indirect effect were also significant. Such novel data highlight the potential bi-directional relationship between pain intensity and anxiety sensitivity in terms of emotional eating. Overall, pain intensity and anxiety sensitivity may serve as mechanisms that underlie emotional eating among Latino adults.

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Funding was provided by National Institute on Drug Abuse (Grant No. 1F31DA046127-01).

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Correspondence to Michael J. Zvolensky.

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Kauffman, B.Y., Rogers, A.H., Bakhshaie, J. et al. Examining the Relationship Between Pain Intensity and Emotional Eating Among Latinos in a Federally Qualified Health Center: The Role of Anxiety Sensitivity. J Immigrant Minority Health 21, 1217–1223 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10903-019-00862-0

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  • Emotional eating
  • Pain
  • Anxiety
  • Latinos