Questionnaire-based problematic relationship to eating and food is associated with 25 year body mass index trajectories during midlife: The Coronary Artery Risk Development In Young Adults (CARDIA) Study

Academic Article


  • Objective: Problematic eating behaviors and attitudes are of public health concern. Questionnaire-based assessment of these behaviors is important for large-scale research on eating behaviors. The questionnaire on eating and weight patterns-revised (QEWP-R) measures potential problematic behaviors and attitudes toward food (including anxieties, compensatory actions, overeating and loss of control, dieting, and shape concerns) that in aggregate may indicate diagnosable eating disorders. An important question regards the prevalence of these issues and their longitudinal associations with body mass index (BMI) in generally healthy middle aged adults. Method: Based on eight constructs measured on QEWP-R, we created a new problematic relationship to eating and food (PREF) scale by assigning a point for each construct endorsed. Analyses were conducted in 3,892 black and white men and women participating in the community-based Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study. The QEWP-R was administered in CARDIA year 10, when participants were aged 27–41 years. We used linear regression to model the relationship of individual constructs and the PREF scale to BMI over CARDIA follow-up. Results: Fifty-five percent of participants had 1–5 points and 4% had 6–8 points on the PREF scale. Each separate construct was positively associated with BMI, except concern about weight and shape. Adjusting for age, race, sex, education, and study center, mean BMI at CARDIA year 10, the time of PREF assessment, was approximately 1.0–2.5 kg/m2 higher per PREF category. Conclusion: In middle age, problematic behaviors and attitudes toward food were common and associated with higher BMI.
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    Author List

  • Yoon C; Jacobs DR; Duprez DA; Dutton G; Lewis CE; Neumark-Sztainer D; Steffen LM; West DS; Mason SM
  • Start Page

  • 10
  • End Page

  • 17
  • Volume

  • 51
  • Issue

  • 1