The Association Between Addictive Personality and Maladaptive Eating Behaviors in Bariatric Surgery Candidates
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Purpose: The purpose of the study was to examine how addictive personality is related to maladaptive eating behaviors in bariatric surgery candidates. Method and Procedures: Ninety-seven bariatric surgery candidates were recruited online from bariatric surgery Web sites and met study criteria. Participants completed a self-report survey consisting of the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ-R) Addiction Scale, The Overeater's Questionnaire (OQ), binge eating questions from the Questionnaire of Eating and Weight Patterns (QEWP-R), and the Eating Attitudes and Behaviors Questionnaire, an assessment of maladaptive eating patterns. Results: Mean EPQ-R Addiction Scale scores overall were elevated (M=13.9, SD=5.2) compared to female norms (M=12.6; p =.016). Bariatric surgery candidates that met criteria for Binge Eating Disorder (BED) displayed Addiction Scale scores comparable to individuals addicted to gambling and to those addicted to drugs (M = 17.5, SD = 5.3). EPQ-R Addiction Scale scores were associated with scores on the Overeating subscale of the OQ (r= .45, p< .001) and explained a significant proportion of the variance in Overeating subscale scores ( R2=.21, F(1, 76)=-19.7, p < .001). Addiction Scale scores were associated with scores on the Cravings subscale of the OQ (r= .31, p = .005) and the Affective subscale (r= .62, p < .001), and explained a significant proportion of the variance in the Cravings (R2= 0.096, F(1, 78)= 8.25, p = .005) and Affective subscales (R 2= .39, F(1,77) = 48.93, p < .001). Conclusion: Bariatric surgery candidates with BED displayed addictive personality scores comparable to individuals dependent on substances. Addictive personality was associated with maladaptive eating behaviors, suggesting the potential for addictive eating behaviors in this population. Addictive eating behaviors may be an important area for intervention before and after bariatric surgery.