The Effect of Stressful Life Events, Anxiety and Depression on Emotional Eating

Emotional eating disorder was first defined by Kaplan et al., and it was defined as a person’s tendency to eat as a result of negative emotions such as stress and sadness (Kaplan, 1957). With the pandemic process, studies on this subject have increased. The number of studies on the effect of increasing uncertainty, fear and stress on eating behaviors has increased. The increased negative emotional state during the global epidemic has led to emotional eating behavior as a coping method in people. It has been found that emotional eating behavior is more common in women due to depression, stress and anxiety (Özkan, Sevin, & Avcı, 2021). In another study, no gender differences related to eating behavior were found (Köroğlu, Şerif, & Taştan, 2021).

It has been found that eating behavior increases in people who develop stress after natural disasters such as earthquakes (Kuijer & Boyce, 2012). Other studies have also found that emotional states such as emotional eating and stress cause eating behavior (Özer and Okat, 2021).

There are also studies conducted with children who have other potential effects rather than adults during the Covid process. In a study conducted with primary school children, it was found that the eating behavior and depression of children were affected by the pandemic process (Köroğlu et al., 2021)

In another research finding conducted during the pandemic process, it was seen that restrictive eating behavior decreased and impulsive and emotional eating attitudes increased. While more uncontrolled eating behavior is observed between the ages of 18-20, depression and stress-related eating behavior have been detected over the age of 35 (Şimsek and Şen, 2020.)

The effect of isolation and ban processes during the pandemic process on eating behavior is worth examining. Kobal et al. (2012) stated that boredom is a different subsection of emotional eating and triggers eating behavior. .

Exercise Behaviors

There have been compelling behavioral changes in humans throughout the restriction. Inactivity and restricted space can cause physical problems, as well as risk factors for eating disorders or weight gain. As a result of the research conducted in Australia with 5,469 people with a history of eating disorders, increased exercise, restrictive and binge eating behaviors were detected. The result determined in the general population; restriction and binge eating behavior has increased and exercise has been found to decrease compared to the past (Phillipou, Meyer, and Neill, 2020). In another study, the relationship between eating pathology and repetitive exercise behaviors was found to be higher as the levels of intolerance to uncertainty increased with increased anxiety in the covid process (Scharmer et al., 2020).

Exercising makes people healthier and improves their quality of life. For this reason, the physical health of people who do not exercise is adversely affected. (Tunç, Zorba, and Çingöz, 2020). The physical activities of individuals who are locked at home have decreased (Macit, 2020). Some suggestions have been made to increase physical activities that can be applied at home (Chen, Mao, Nassi, Harmer, & Ainsworth, 2020).

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