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The association between emotional eating and depressive symptoms: a population based twin study in Sri Lanka

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Original languageEnglish
Article numbere4
JournalGlobal Health, Epidemiology and Genomics
Volume4
Early online date8 May 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 May 2019

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Abstract

This study investigated the genetic and environmental contributions to emotional overeating (EOE) and depressive symptoms, and their covariation, in a Sri-Lankan population, using genetic model-fitting analysis. In total, 3957 twins and singletons in the Colombo Twin and Singleton Study-Phase 2 rated their EOE behaviour and depressive symptoms, which were significantly associated (men: r = 0.11, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.06–0.16, women: r = 0.12, 95% CI 0.07–0.16). Non-shared environmental factors explained the majority of variance in men (EOE e2 = 87%, 95% CI 78–95%; depressive symptoms e2 = 72%, 95% CI 61–83%) and women (EOE e2 = 76%, 95% CI 68–83%; depressive symptoms e2 = 64%, 95% CI 55–74%). Genetic factors were more important for EOE in women (h2 = 21%, 95% CI 4–32%) than men (h2 = 9%, 95% CI 0–20%). Shared-environmental factors were more important for depressive symptoms in men (c2 = 25%, 95% CI 10–36%) than women (c2 = 9%, 95% CI 0–35%). Non-shared environmental factors explained the overlap between depressive symptoms and EOE in women but not in men. Results differed from high-income populations, highlighting the need for behavioural genetic research in global populations.

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