Jolly fat or sad fat? Subtyping non-eating disordered overweight and obesity along an affect dimension

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Abstract

Although a substantial part of the overweight and obese show increased depression scores, overweight and obesity are not necessarily depressing. This study tested the fitting of a sample of non-eating disordered overweight and obese people (n = 195) into high and low negative affect profiles. Cluster analysis created a subtype high in negative affect (47%) and a subtype low in negative affect (53%). The subtypes did not differ in body weight but robust differences were found in body-related worrying. Bodyrelated worrying explained one-third of the variance in negative affect levels, whereas body weight and binge eating did not predict negative affect levels at all. Increased levels of body related worrying may be an important clinical characteristic to distinguish the sad from the happy non-eating disordered overweight/obese. it is argued that obesity treatments should include therapeutic strategies that decrease body-related worrying and sad mood, particularly for the overweight/obese who are high in negative affect.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-640
JournalAppetite
Volume51
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008

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