Body mass index in Turkish female adolescents: The role of emotional eating, restrained eating, external eating and depression

Turker P. F. , Saka M., Koseler E., Metin S., Yilmaz B., Bas M.

HEALTHMED, vol.6, no.4, pp.1367-1374, 2012 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 6 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Title of Journal : HEALTHMED
  • Page Numbers: pp.1367-1374


The purpose of this study was to determine the association between body mass index, depression, emotional, external and restrained eating behavior in adolescent females. The present study examined the relations between body mass index, emotional eating, restrained eating, external eating and depression level in female adolescents. The participants were 644 females aged between 16 and 18 years (mean age 16.71, standard deviation 0.73 years), from one of several randomly selected universities in Ankara, capital city of Turkey The participants were administered the Dutch Eating Behaviour Questionnaire and Beck Depression Inventory. Restrained eating (r=0.32; p<0.05), emotional eating (r=0.37; p<0.05), depression level (r=0.36; p<0.05) and age (r=0.16; p<0.05) all showed significant correlations with BMI, but external eating (r=0.05; p>0.05) was not significantly correlated with BMI. Also, there were significantly differences in body mass index, restrained eating, emotional eating, external eating, depression level and age between the normal weight group and the overweight group. Three factors were found as significantly associated with body mass index. Emotional eating stood out as the major risk factor for body mass index in female adolescents. Second and third important factors are found as restrained eating and depression level. In conclusion, obesity in adolescence might be relationship between emotional eating, restrained eating and depression level among female adolescents. Emotional eating appear to be a major contributor to obesity in the adolescent group in this sample. At this point we can recommend developing interventions for obesity prevention and treatment targeted at emotional eating.