An investigation into whether snack choices differ between emotional eaters and non-emotional eaters

Jessica Adams


Eating patterns and behaviour have been linked to the increasing incidence of weight-related health risks. Understanding the motivations behind certain food choices, particularly high energy-dense foods is therefore of importance. The purpose of this research was to get a better understanding of the snack choices of emotional eaters and how these compared to non-emotional eaters. Participants, 100 male and female students, completed a questionnaire to determine emotional eating and snacking habits. Analyses of the data collected revealed that there was a weak, yet statistically significant correlation between the consumption of sweet snacks and emotional eating score, but no significant difference was found between fast food, savoury snacks or fruit. There was a significant difference in the emotional eating scores between genders (males mean score 15.2 ± 1.7, females mean score 24.6 ± 2.4) with females showing more prevalence towards being emotional eaters. The main conclusion drawn is sweet snacks were consumed more frequently by emotional eaters and females were more likely to have higher emotional eating scores. 

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