Personality Profile and Affect Regulation in Relation to Food Addiction Among a Sample of Egyptian Females

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Abstract

Objectives:

Negative emotions are one of the most important triggers of self-regulation failure, that is, when people get upset they comfort themselves with food, alcohol, or drugs. This research was set out to study the associations of food addiction with personality traits as well as with affect regulation.

Materials and Methods:

A case-control study, 200 females recruited from the outpatient clinics of Ain Shams University hospitals divided into 2 groups; food addict 108 females and nonfood addict 92 females according to Yale food addiction scale score, with age range of 18 to 40 years. Those having neuropsychiatric disorders, mental retardation, disability, and cognitive impairment were excluded. Patients were assessed using the following tools: General Health Questionnaire, Temperament and Character Inventory, Barratt impulsiveness scale, Negative Affect Repair Questionnaire.

Results:

Food addicts used significantly more calming distracting strategies and externalizing strategies to control their negative emotions than nonfood addicts (P=0.0001, P=0.0001), respectively. Although nonfood addicts used more cognitive and behavioral strategies (P<0.001), food addicts were significantly more impulsive (P=0.0001) and more novelty seekers, more harm avoidant, less self-directed, less cooperative, and more self-transcendent than the nonfood addict (P=0.021, P=0.009, P≤0.001, P=0.012, P=0.019), respectively. Independent risk factor for food addiction was abnormal negative regulation.

Conclusions:

Food addicts used more calming distracting strategies together with externalizing strategies to control their negative emotions, whereas nonfood addicts used more cognitive and behavioral strategies. Food addicts were more; novelty seekers, harm avoidant, self-transcendent, impulsive also less self-directed, and cooperative than nonfood addicts.

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