Comments Subscribe to Personal Liberty News Feed Subscribe to Personal Liberty

Stress Affects Those With Eating Disorders

LEWISBURG, Pa. (UPI) — An eating disorder may be a way for individuals to channel overwhelming feelings into something more concrete, like pounds and calories, U.S. researchers say.

Lauren Feldman, a Bucknell University psychology major and linguistics minor, and Heidi Lorimor, an assistant professor of linguistics, conducted an experiment using language to uncover what’s happening in the minds of eating disorder sufferers.

“Much of the research on eating disorders looks at weight, food and body shape as motivators,” Feldman said in a statement. “But there’s also a theory that eating disorders serve emotional functions rather than physical ones.”

Lorimor and Feldman hypothesized that eating disorder sufferers under stress would react differently than non-stressed subjects to words related to eating disorders, like “starve” and “exercise.” This would suggest that fluctuations in emotion triggered eating-disordered thoughts, the researchers said.

Feldman found a clear effect of stress level on those with eating disorders — notably, stressed participants recognized food words like “pizza” and “restaurant” at much slower rates than did non-stressed participants.

“It’s as if, when stressed, eating-disordered individuals suppressed thoughts of food,” Feldman said.  “This makes sense, because blocking out such thoughts would facilitate eating-disordered behaviors like dieting and restricting.”

Feldman said treatment providers could benefit from the findings to focus more of the recovery process around emotion and coping skills.

The findings are scheduled to be presented at Bucknell’s Kalman Undergraduate Research Symposium in March.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

Facebook Conversations

Join the Discussion:
View Comments to “Stress Affects Those With Eating Disorders”

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

Is there news related to personal liberty happening in your area? Contact us at


Sign Up For Personal Liberty Digest™!

PL Badge

Welcome to,
America's #1 Source for Libertarian News!

To join our group of freedom-loving individuals and to get alerts as well as late-breaking conservative news from Personal Liberty Digest™...

Privacy PolicyYou can opt out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.