The dynamic network associations of food craving, restrained eating, hunger and negative emotions

S. D. Dicker-Oren, M. Gelkopf, T. Greene

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Food craving, restrained eating, hunger, and negative emotions may predict and reinforce one another. However, less is known about how they interact together as a complex system in daily life. Therefore, we used a dynamic network approach to examine the associations between food craving, restrained eating, hunger and negative emotions in daily life. Methods: Food craving, restrained eating, hunger and negative emotions were measured using ecological momentary assessment three times a day over ten days in a community sample in Israel (n = 123). A two-step multilevel vector auto-regression network analysis was used to estimate temporal, contemporaneous and between-persons networks. Results: In the temporal network, restrained eating was the most central predictor of eating behaviors and negative emotions, predicting food craving and hunger as well as sadness and loneliness. Food craving was also predicted by hunger and stress, and hunger predicted loneliness. In the contemporaneous network, food craving was associated with hunger and feeling bored, and higher anger was associated with lower restrained eating. Stress and sadness were central negative emotions in the models. Discussion: This study suggests possible temporal and contemporaneous relationships between food craving, restrained eating, hunger and negative emotions, emphasizing their complex interactions in daily life. Restrained eating and stress should be investigated as potential targets for interventions addressing food craving and overeating.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106019
JournalAppetite
Volume175
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Ecological momentary assessment
  • Food craving
  • Hunger
  • Negative emotions
  • Networks analysis
  • Restrained eating

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (all)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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