A comparison of negative affect and disinhibited eating between children with and without parents with type 2 diabetes

Taylor N. Swanson, Megan N. Parker, Meghan E. Byrne, Eliana Ramirez, Esther Kwarteng, Loie M. Faulkner, Kweku Djan, Anna Zenno, Krishna Karthik Chivukula, Sarah LeMay-Russell, Natasha A. Schvey, Sheila M. Brady, Lisa M. Shank, Lauren B. Shomaker, Marian Tanofsky-Kraff*, Jack A. Yanovski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Children whose parents have type 2 diabetes (T2D) are at high-risk for developing T2D. In youth, negative affect has been shown to predict insulin resistance (IR), and disinhibited-eating behaviors have been linked to IR. It is unknown if youth with a parent with T2D (P-T2D) report greater psychological and behavioral symptoms than those without a P-T2D. Objective: To compare youth with and without a P-T2D on symptoms of negative affect and disinhibited-eating. Methods: Nine-hundred thirty-two youth (13.3 ± 2.6 years; BMIz 1.06 ± 1.06; 67.8% female; 53.6% people of color; 10.7% with a P-T2D) completed questionnaires of anxiety and depressive symptoms, eating in the absence of hunger, and emotional-eating. Loss-of-control (LOC)-eating was assessed by interview. In two separate subsamples, energy intake was explored using laboratory test meals simulating eating in the absence of hunger and LOC-eating, respectively. Analyses were adjusted for age, sex, race/ethnicity. In follow-up analyses, fat mass (kg) and height, and IR were included as covariates, respectively. Results: Adjusting for all covariates including adiposity and IR, compared to youth without a P-T2D, youth with a P-T2D reported more anxiety and depression symptoms, greater eating in the absence of hunger, and emotional-eating (ps < 0.05). No significant differences were found for LOC-eating, or in exploratory analyses of energy intake for either test meal (ps > 0.16). Conclusions: Self-reported negative affect and disinhibited-eating may be higher among youth with P-T2D compared to those without P-T2D. Prospective studies should examine, among those with a P-T2D, what role such symptoms may play for their subsequent risk for T2D.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-149
Number of pages11
JournalPediatric Diabetes
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes


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