Relationships of trait anxiety and loss of control eating with serum leptin concentrations among youth

Meghan E. Byrne, Marian Tanofsky-Kraff*, Manuela Jaramillo, Lisa M. Shank, Sarah Le May-Russell, Sarah G. Rubin, Sophie Ramirez, Deborah R. Altman, Natasha A. Schvey, Sheila M. Brady, Lauren B. Shomaker, Amber B. Courville, Shanna B. Yang, Merel Kozlosky, Miranda M. Broadney, Susan Z. Yanovski, Jack A. Yanovski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Loss of control (LOC) eating in youth is associated with elevated fasting serum leptin, even after accounting for adiposity. Anxiety is closely linked to, and may exacerbate, LOC eating. Yet, it remains unclear how anxiety relates to leptin, or if the relationship is moderated by the presence of LOC eating. We examined whether self-reported trait anxiety interacted with LOC eating in relation to leptin in a convenience sample of youths (n = 592; 13.1 ± 2.7 years; body mass index z-score (BMIz) = 0.9 ± 1.1; 61.8% girls; 53.5% non-Hispanic White; 36.6% with LOC eating). LOC eating was assessed by interview. Leptin was measured after an overnight fast. Exploratory analyses were conducted to examine anxiety and LOC eating in relation to laboratory intake patterns in three sub-samples. In a generalized linear model adjusting for relevant covariates, anxiety significantly interacted with LOC eating in relation to leptin (p = 0.02), such that greater trait anxiety related to higher concentrations of leptin only among youth with LOC eating. Trait anxiety was not significantly related to fasting serum leptin independently in a generalized linear model adjusting for age, race, height, sex, study type, and fat mass (kg). Exploratory mechanistic analyses of food intake patterns did not identify consistent results for participants with both anxiety and LOC eating. Among youth with LOC eating, anxiety may be associated with higher serum leptin. Prospective data are required to elucidate the directionality and mechanisms of these relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2198
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Anxiety
  • Child and adolescent
  • Dietary intake
  • Leptin
  • Loss of control eating
  • Pediatric obesity


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