Loss-of-Control Eating and Obesity Among Children and Adolescents

  • Meghan E. Byrne
  • Sarah LeMay-Russell
  • Marian Tanofsky-KraffEmail author
Psychological Issues (V Drapeau and V Ivezaj, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Psychological Issues


Purpose of Review

This review summarizes findings on pediatric loss-of-control (LOC) eating and obesity published since 2013 in relation to physiological, socioenvironmental, and psychological factors.

Recent Findings

LOC eating and obesity are highly comorbid in youth. Genetic and physiological risk factors are associated with the development of LOC eating. Adverse physiological outcomes of LOC eating include increased risk for overweight and obesity and greater dysfunction in components of metabolic syndrome. Socioenvironmental, psychological, and behavioral factors, such as weight-based teasing, dieting, negative affect, emotion dysregulation, and aspects of cognitive functioning, are consistently related to LOC eating in youth, independent of weight. Prospectively, LOC eating may predict the onset of anxiety disorders, depression, and more severe eating psychopathology later in life. Updates on interventions and future directions are discussed.


LOC eating may be a key symptom to target adverse physiological and psychological outcomes; however, treatments are limited and require further examination.


Loss-of-control eating Obesity Overweight Binge eating Pediatric Eating disorders 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Meghan E. Byrne, Sarah LeMay-Russell, and Marian Tanofsky-Kraff declare they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

All reported studies/experiments with human or animal subjects performed by the authors have been previously published and complied with all applicable ethical standards (including the Helsinki declaration and its amendments, institutional/national research committee standards, and international/national/institutional guidelines).


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Meghan E. Byrne
    • 1
  • Sarah LeMay-Russell
    • 1
  • Marian Tanofsky-Kraff
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Medical and Clinical PsychologyUniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS)BethesdaUSA

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