Relationships of depression, anxiety, and stress with eating behaviors in older adults
Jackson, Kelly Paige
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The purpose of this study was to explore potential relationships of eating behaviors with mental health in congregate meal participants in Georgia (N = 124, mean age = 75 years, 76% female, 44% African American). Eating behaviors were evaluated with the Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire (18 questions) and mental health was assessed with the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (21 questions). For analyses, depression, anxiety, and stress were each dichotomized (low or normal symptoms versus mild, moderate, or severe symptoms) and each eating behavior was dichotomized (lowest two tertiles or three quartiles of the distribution versus top tertile or quartile of the distribution). Analyses revealed significant relationships among the following: depression with emotional eating, stress with emotional eating and uncontrolled eating, and anxiety with cognitive restraint (all p < 0.05). Thus, depression, anxiety, and stress may influence eating behaviors and may be targets for weight management in these elders.