Handbook of Behavior, Food and Nutrition

pp 2183-2200


Disinhibited Eating and Body Weight in Youth

  • Lauren B. Shomaker
  • , Marian Tanofsky-Kraff
  • , Jack A. YanovskiAffiliated withSection on Growth and Obesity, Program in Developmental Endocrinology and Genetics, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health Email author 

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The prevalence of pediatric overweight and its health consequences have become increasing public health concerns. This chapter describes disinhibited eating behaviors in youth that might serve to promote overweight. Disinhibited eating is used as an umbrella term to encompass behaviors that involve a lack of healthy restraint over food intake, including binge eating and loss of control (LOC) eating, emotional eating, and eating in the absence of hunger (EAH). Data on the prevalence and correlates of each type of disinhibited behavior are provided, and the similarities and differences among the specific eating behaviors are considered. A brief review of the options for assessment of disinhibited eating in youth is supplied, followed by a consideration of novel pediatric interventions targeting disinhibited eating behavior for the prevention and/or treatment of obesity.