Association of Dysfunctional Eating Patterns and Metabolic Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease among Latinos

Published:August 01, 2017DOI:



      Latinos are at high risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Identifying behavioral factors associated with CVD risk in this population may provide novel targets for further research to reduce chronic disease disparities. Dysfunctional eating patterns (emotional eating [EE], uncontrolled eating [UE], and cognitive restraint of eating [CR]) may be associated with CVD risk but little is known about this relationship in Latinos.


      The aim of this study was to examine associations between dysfunctional eating patterns and metabolic risk factors for CVD in Latinos.


      The study used a cross-sectional design.


      Latino individuals (n=602), aged 21 to 84 years, were enrolled in the study from September 2011 to May 2013 from a community health center that serves 80% to 85% of the Latino population in Lawrence, MA. Individuals with complete data were included in this analysis (n=578).


      Dysfunctional eating patterns were measured with the Three Factor Eating Questionnaire-R18V2. CVD risk factors examined included obesity assessed by body mass index and waist circumference and diagnoses of type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia abstracted from electronic health records.

      Statistical analysis

      Multivariable logistic and Poisson regressions adjusting for age, sex, perceived income, employment, education, physical activity, and perceived stress were performed. The no dysfunctional eating category (ie, no EE, no UE, or no CR) was used as the reference category in all analyses.


      High EE was associated with greater odds of obesity (odds ratio [OR] 2.19, 95% CI 1.38 to 3.45) and central obesity (OR 2.97, 95% CI 1.81 to 4.87), and diagnosis of type 2 diabetes (OR 1.99, 95% CI 1.13 to 3.48) and hypertension (OR 2.01, 95% CI 1.16 to 3.48). High UE was associated with obesity (OR 1.96, 95% CI 1.20 to 3.21) and central obesity (OR 2.33, 95% CI 1.38 to 3.94). Low and high CR were associated with obesity (OR 2.26, 95% CI 1.43 to 3.56 and OR 2.77, 95% CI 1.75 to 4.37, respectively) and central obesity (OR 2.04, 95% CI 1.25 to 3.32 and 2.51, 95% CI 1.54 to 4.08, respectively) and diagnosis of type 2 diabetes (OR 1.83, 95% CI 1.05 to 3.16 and OR 2.73, 95% CI 1.58 to 4.70, respectively) and hyperlipidemia (OR 1.94, 95% CI 1.16 to 3.24 and OR 2.14, 95% CI 1.28 to 3.55, respectively). Lastly, high EE and low and high CR were associated with increased odds of having a greater number of metabolic CVD risk factors (incidence-rate ratio [IRR] 1.33, 95% CI 1.13 to 1.58; IRR 1.34, 95% CI 1.13 to 1.58; and IRR 1.44, 95% CI 1.22 to 1.71, respectively).


      Dysfunctional eating patterns were positively associated with metabolic CVD risk factors in this Latino sample, with dose–response relationships for some associations. Future studies are needed to determine whether dysfunctional eating patterns influence CVD risk factors among Latinos.


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      A. Lopez-Cepero is a research assistant, Clinical and Population Health Research Program, Department of Quantitative Health Sciences, and Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester.


      C. F. Frisard is a biostatistician, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester.


      S. C. Lemon is a professor of medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester.


      M. C. Rosal is a professor of medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester.