Dysfunctional eating in type 2 diabetes mellitus: A multicenter Italian study of socio-demographic and clinical associations

Maria L. Petroni, Francesca A. Barbanti, Riccardo Bonadonna, Graziella Bruno, Maria T. Caletti, Marina Croci, Chiara D'Eusebio, Alessandra Dei Cas, Cecilia Invitti, F. Merlo, Alberto Molteni, Antonio Pontiroli, Marina Trento, Anna Veronelli, S. Vigili de Kreutzenberg, Giulio Marchesini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and aims: Dysfunctional eating might impact on the management and metabolic control of type 2 diabetes (T2DM), modifying adherence to healthy diet and food choices. Methods and results: In a multicenter study, we assessed the prevalence of dysfunctional eating in 895 adult outpatients with T2DM (51% males, median age 67, median BMI 30.3 kg/m2). Socio-demographic and clinical characteristics were recorded; dysfunctional eating was tested by validated questionnaires (Eating Attitude Test-EAT-26, Binge Eating Scale-BES; Night Eating Questionnaire-NEQ); food intake and adherence to Mediterranean diet were also measured (in-house developed questionnaire and Mediterranean Diet Score–MDS). Obesity was present in 52% of cases (10% obesity class III), with higher rates in women; 22% had HbA1c ≥ 8%. The EAT-26 was positive in 19.6% of women vs. 10.2% of men; BES scores outside the normal range were recorded in 9.4% of women and 4.4% of men, with 3.0% and 1.5% suggestive of binge eating disorder, respectively. Night eating (NEQ) was only present in 3.2% of women and 0.4% of men. Critical EAT and BES values were associated with higher BMI, and all NEQ + ve cases, but one, were clustered among BES + ve individuals. Calorie intake increased with BES, NEQ, and BMI, and decreased with age and with higher adherence to Mediterranean diet. In multivariable logistic regression analysis, female sex, and younger age were associated with increase risk of dysfunctional eating. Conclusion: Dysfunctional eating is present across the whole spectrum of T2DM and significantly impacts on adherence to dietary restriction and food choices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)983-990
Number of pages8
JournalNutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019


  • Binge eating
  • Eating disorders
  • Food intake
  • Mediterranean diet
  • Night eating syndrome
  • Orthorexia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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