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ARS Home » Plains Area » Grand Forks, North Dakota » Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center » Healthy Body Weight Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #311851

Research Project: Dietary Guidelines Adherence and Healthy Body Weight Maintenance

Location: Healthy Body Weight Research

Title: Women’s motivations for eating

item Jahns, Lisa
item Stote, Kim - State University Of New York (SUNY)
item Johnson, Luann - University Of North Dakota
item Madanat, Hala - San Diego State University
item Cole, Renee - Us Army Research Institute Of Environmental Medicine

Submitted to: Journal of Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/15/2015
Publication Date: 3/28/2015
Citation: Jahns, L.A., Stote, K., Johnson, L.K., Madanat, H., Cole, R. 2015. Women’s motivations for eating [abstract]. Journal of Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. 29:736.20.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The Motivation for Eating Scale (MFES) evaluates the primary motivation for eating initiation. The objective of this study was to examine energy intake by MFES categories and subscale scores across four seasons. Fifty-four women ages 40-60 y completed the MFES four times in one year, once each season, and online diet recalls every 10 days. Participants were classified as physical, environmental/social, or emotional eaters. Seasonal differences in MFES subscale mean scores were tested using a mixed linear model and a multi-level model was used to predict energy intake across the seasons. Sixty-five percent of women were primarily categorized as physical eaters, 30% as environmental/social eaters and only 6% as emotional eaters. There was no difference in mean yearly energy intake between physical and environmental/social eaters (P = 0.21). Seasonally, only the emotional eating subscale varied significantly and was greater in summer than in the winter (P = 0.002) or spring (P = 0.007) but it was not a significant predictor of energy intake (P = 0.96); nor was the physical subscale (P = 0.30). The environmental/social subscale was positively associated with energy intake across seasons (P = 0.008). Over one-third of participants were influenced by environmental/social or emotional reasons for eating. The lack of association between MFES categories and energy intake may be due to variability within the subscales. Examining changes in subscales, not dominant categories, may be a better indicator of seasonal differences in motivation for eating and dietary intake. Support: USDA-ARS 3062-51000-051-00D.