Sex and gender differences in compulsive overeating
Compulsive Eating Behavior and Food Addiction: Emerging Pathological Constructs
Although obesity rates are high, are overall, and have grown dramatically in recent decades, prevalence of obesity in the United States is higher among women, relative to their male counterparts. Conversely, dietary intake is higher for men, and more men than women admit to eating episodes that involve intake of large quantities of food. However, women are more likely to endorse a sense of loss of control over how much they eat and are more likely to experience a host of adverse eating-related consequences and comorbidities. This chapter reviews gender differences across several different disordered eating phenotypes, including nocturnal eating, emotional eating, grazing, food addiction, and binge eating. The psychosocial complications and comorbidities associated with each are also discussed. Animal and human models regarding the importance of hormonal influences on eating behavior and related gender differences are highlighted. Finally, the dearth of treatment outcome studies that include men is noted, with a call for greater attention to the unique forms of maladaptive eating and weight concerns experienced by men.
Link to Published Version
Saules, K. K., & Herb, K. M. (2019). Sex and gender differences in compulsive overeating. In Compulsive eating behavior and food addiction (pp. 389–418). Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-816207-1.00013-5