Binge eating among young adults: association with sociodemographic factors, nutritional intake, dietary n-6:n-3 ratio and impulsivity.

Maryse Khoury, Santa Chamsine, Camil Merheb, Edouard Arfoul, Maria Rached, Farah Younes, Nada El Osta, Sophie Laye, Carla Aoun, Tatiana Papazian, Lydia Rabbaa Khabbaz
Br J Nutr. 2021-01-14; : 1-10
DOI: 10.1017/s0007114521000118

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Binge eating behaviour (BE) is the major symptom of binge eating disorder (BED). This study aimed to compare the nutritional intake in the presence or absence of BE, with a particular focus on dietary n-6:n-3 ratio, to assess the association between BE and impulsivity and the mediating effect of BMI on this association. A total of 450 university students (age 18–28 years) participated. The self-administered questionnaires were a semi-quantitative FFQ and the UPPS-P Impulsive Behavior Scale and the binge eating scale. The average BE score was 11·6 (se 7·388), and 20 % of the total participants scored above the cut-off of 17, thus presenting BE with 95 % CI of 16·3, 23·7 %. Our study revealed that greater BMI, higher total energy intake, greater negative urgency and positive urgency scores were significantly associated with BE. Participants with high value of dietary n-6:n-3 ratio were 1·335 more at risk to present a BE compared with those with a lower value of this ratio (P = 0·017). The relationship between BE score and UPPS domains score was not mediated by the BMI. This is the first study reporting a link between high dietary n-6:n-3 ratio and BE as well as the fact that BE was linked to both, negative and positive urgencies, and that the association between BE and impulsivity was not mediated by BMI. These findings can help to deal more efficiently with people suffering from BE, a symptom that can precede the development of BED.

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