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Emotion dysregulation and body mass index: The explanatory role of emotional eating among adult smokers

Highlights•Extant work identified emotional eating and emotion dysregulation as related to BMI•Results found emotion dysregulation is associated with BMI through emotional eating•Clinically, results may inform future weight loss program development for smokersAbstractThere is limited understanding of the relationship between emotion dysregulation and weight gain among smokers, although available data suggest there are potential relationships that may be of clinical importance. The present study explored a potential mechanism in the relationship between emotion dysregulation and body mass index (BMI). Specifically, the current study examined the indirect effects of emotional eating on the association between emotion dysregulation and BMI among smokers. Participants included 136 (52.2% female; Mage = 42.25, SD = 11.24) adults who were treatment-seeking smokers. Primary analysis included one regression-based model, wherein emotion dysregulation served as the predictor, emotional eating as the intermediary variable, and BMI as the criterion variable. Covariates were age and gender. Results indicated that emotional dysregulation was significantly associated with BMI through emotional eating (a*b = 0.02, SE = 0.01, CI95% = 0.002, 0.042). The current findings provide initial empirical evidence that greater reported levels of emotion dysregulation may be associated with greater reported levels of emotional eating, which in turn, may be related to higher BMI.

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