Table of Contents
Advances in Psychiatry
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 749738, 3 pages
Research Article

Temperament and Eating Attitudes in an Adolescent Community Sample: A Brief Report

Eating Disorders Center, Department of Neuroscience, University of Turin, Via Cherasco 15, 10126 Turin, Italy

Received 3 June 2014; Revised 25 August 2014; Accepted 27 August 2014; Published 8 September 2014

Academic Editor: Xingguang Luo

Copyright © 2014 Enrica Marzola et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. Temperament traits like high harm avoidance (HA) have been proposed as putative risk factors for the development of eating disorders (EDs). We aimed at studying the relationship between temperament and eating attitudes on a large community sample of adolescents. Method. We recruited 992 high school students aged 14–18. In addition to measuring body mass index (BMI), participants were asked to complete the temperament and character inventory and the food frequency questionnaire. Results. Sixty-two percent of the sample reported overeating, 22.8% reported normal eating, and 15.2% reported under eating. Under and normal eaters had higher BMI than that of over eaters. Harm avoidance was found to be significantly higher in those participants with lower eating intakes whilst novelty seeking was found to be higher in over eaters. Conclusion. An interesting association between temperament (high HA) and food approach (under eating) emerged. Longitudinal studies are needed to evaluate whether these traits represent a risk factor for the development of EDs.