eating disorders

Schizophrenia and Obesity: Could Disordered Eating Play a Role?

Patients with schizophrenia are likely more prone to disordered eating behaviors compared with the general population, a recent study indicated.


These findings may help shed some more light on the connection of schizophrenia with obesity and metabolic disease, which are known to be elevated in this patient population.

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The authors of the study arrived at their conclusion following a cross-sectional study of 66 outpatients with schizophrenia and 81 healthy controls. Participants’ mean age was 44 years, and mean body mass index (BMI) was 30.3 kg/m2.


The 21-item version of the Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire (TFEQ-R21) was used to evaluate patients’ eating behaviors.


The results of the study suggested that patients with schizophrenia demonstrated poorer eating behaviors compared with healthy controls “regardless of gender or duration of disease,” the researchers wrote.


Following adjustment for age, sex, BMI, and smoking status, all mean TFEQ scores were found to be significantly higher in patients with schizophrenia vs controls.


Also of note, schizophrenia patients with a BMI of less than 25 kg/m2 demonstrated a higher “cognitive restraint” factor compared with overweight schizophrenia patients with a BMI of more than 25 kg/m2.


“More research is needed to help clarify the relationships between eating behaviors and weight-related outcomes in schizophrenia,” the researchers concluded.


These findings were published in the November 2018 issue of Psychiatry Research.


—Christina Vogt



Kouidrat Y, Amad A, Stubbs B, et al. Disordered eating behaviors as a potential obesogenic factor in schizophrenia. Psychiatry Res. 2018;269:450-454.