Disinhibited Eating and Body Weight in Youth

  • Lauren B. Shomaker
  • Marian Tanofsky-Kraff
  • Jack A. Yanovski


The prevalence of pediatric overweight and its health consequences have become increasing public health concerns. This chapter describes disinhibited eating behaviors in youth that might serve to promote overweight. Disinhibited eating is used as an umbrella term to encompass behaviors that involve a lack of healthy restraint over food intake, including binge eating and loss of control (LOC) eating, emotional eating, and eating in the absence of hunger (EAH). Data on the prevalence and correlates of each type of disinhibited behavior are provided, and the similarities and differences among the specific eating behaviors are considered. A brief review of the options for assessment of disinhibited eating in youth is supplied, followed by a consideration of novel pediatric interventions targeting disinhibited eating behavior for the prevention and/or treatment of obesity.


Eating Behavior Binge Eating Bulimia Nervosa Binge Eating Disorder Emotional Eating 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Binge eating disorder


Body mass index (kg/m2)


Bulimia nervosa


Eating in the absence of hunger

LOC Eating

Loss of control over eating



We gratefully acknowledge the research support from the Intramural Research Program, National Institutes of Health, grant Z01-HD-00641 (to J. Yanovski) from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development with supplemental funding from the National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities; National Research Service Award, grant 1F32HD056762 (to L. Shomaker) from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; and grant 1R01DK080906-01A1 (to M. Tanofsky-Kraff) from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lauren B. Shomaker
  • Marian Tanofsky-Kraff
  • Jack A. Yanovski
    • 1
  1. 1.Section on Growth and Obesity, Program in Developmental Endocrinology and Genetics, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Department of Health and Human ServicesNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA

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