Ovarian hormones and emotional eating associations across the menstrual cycle: An examination of the potential moderating effects of body mass index and dietary restraint


  • Supported by R01 MH082054 (KLK, PKK, SAB, MN, CLS, SB) from National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and by MDR-96630 from Canadian Institute for Health Research (SER).



Associations between within-person changes in ovarian hormones and dysregulated eating (binge eating, emotional eating) have been observed across the menstrual cycle. However, studies have not examined moderators that may contribute to differential associations between individuals. We investigated body-weight regulation variables [body mass index (BMI), dietary restraint] that have theoretical relevance by virtue of their associations with both phenotypes.


Women (N = 196) provided emotional eating ratings and saliva samples for 45 days. BMI and restraint were assessed at three time points and averaged.


Results showed significant estradiol × progesterone interactions in the prediction of within-subject changes in emotional eating. Neither BMI nor restraint moderated these relationships, although a trend-level dietary restraint × estradiol interaction was observed where estradiol's effects were enhanced in high restraint scorers.


Findings confirm a role for hormones in changes in emotional eating and suggest that restraint might enhance hormone effects in severegroups. © 2013 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2013)