Resisting the Temptation of Food: Overeating

The 2017 National Eating Disorders and Obesity Conference is being held at the Mantra on View Hotel, Gold Coast 7 – 8 August.

Ms Jessica Kerin, Psychologist at Griffith University will be joining us this year to present “Resisting the temptation of food: overeating regulation and associations with emotion regulation and mindfulness”.

Jessica Kerin


The ability to regulate overeating has been recognised as integral to healthy weight management and an alternative approach to dieting in addressing excess weight, yet it has received limited examination.

Accordingly, our aim was to identify demographic and psychological correlates of overeating regulation in a community sample of adults to facilitate greater understanding of this self-regulatory capacity. In addition to age, gender, and eating pathology, self-regulatory capacities outside of the eating domain were examined in relation to overeating regulation, such as emotion regulation and mindfulness.


Self-report measures were completed by 312 Australian university students (68% female; average = 22 years).


Exploratory factor analyses indicated three overeating regulation subscales:

(1) General overeating regulation (general ability to resist overeating);

(2) Discomfort overeating dysregulation (inability to resist overeating when experiencing physical pain or negative emotions); and

(3) Leisure overeating dysregulation (inability to resist overeating in leisure contexts and/or in the presence of high calorie foods)

Overeating regulation was not associated with age; though young men reported better general overeating regulation capacity than young women. Individuals reporting greater ability to regulate overeating (across all three subscales) reported better emotion regulation and mindfulness, and less eating disorder symptomology. Multiple regression analyses showed that particular emotion regulation and mindfulness capacities emerged as unique predictors of overeating regulation.


This study offers greater understanding about the different facets of overeating regulation, and highlights the relevance of emotion regulation and mindfulness in this adaptive eating practise.

The 2017 National Eating Disorders and Obesity Conference focuses on the specific issues of eating disorders and obesity, the co-relationship within the context of mental health, the challenges surrounding public health in our current and future population and the role of physical health in maintaining our positive wellbeing.

Find out more here.