The Interplay Between Depression, Anxiety, Interpersonal Problems, Self-Weighing and Overall Eating Styles of University Students

Peta Stapleton, Sheree Empson


The world is facing an epidemic of obesity. As a result, it is vital that the contributing factors of this issue are identified and addressed. The aim of this study was to investigate the interplay between overall eating style scores in college age students with depression, anxiety, interpersonal problems and self-weighing. The present study consisted of 170 participants (73% female). The results indicated that when social desirability, gender and race were controlled for, depression, interpersonal problems, and self-weighing significantly negatively contributed to overall eating style scores. When self-weighing and interpersonal problems were accounted for, anxiety was found to not significantly predict overall eating styles. Depression, anxiety, interpersonal problems and self-weighing accounted for 20% of overall eating style scores. When all other values had been accounted for, depression was the most reliable predictor and accounted for an additional 6% of the variance. Together these findings suggest that depression, anxiety, interpersonal problems and self-weighing play a role in the development of unhealthy eating habits and by extension, obesity.

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