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International Journal of Endocrinology
Volume 2014, Article ID 356289, 9 pages
Research Article

Identification of Psychological Dysfunctions and Eating Disorders in Obese Women Seeking Weight Loss: Cross-Sectional Study

1Service of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, University Hospital CHUV, rue du Bugnon, 1011 Lausanne, Switzerland
2Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University Hospital CHUV, rue du Bugnon, 1011 Lausanne, Switzerland
3Département de Médecine, Hôpital Intercantonal de la Broye, 1470 Estavayer-le-Lac, Switzerland

Received 21 October 2013; Revised 16 January 2014; Accepted 6 February 2014; Published 11 March 2014

Academic Editor: Yi-Hao Yu

Copyright © 2014 Maude Panchaud Cornut 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. The aim of this study is to analyse associations between eating behaviour and psychological dysfunctions in treatment-seeking obese patients and identify parameters for the development of diagnostic tools with regard to eating and psychological disorders. Design and Methods. Cross-sectional data were analysed from 138 obese women. Bulimic Investigatory Test of Edinburgh and Eating Disorder Inventory-2 assessed eating behaviours. Beck Depression Inventory II, Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, form Y, Rathus Assertiveness Schedule, and Marks and Mathews Fear Questionnaire assessed psychological profile. Results. 61% of patients showed moderate or major depressive symptoms and 77% showed symptoms of anxiety. Half of the participants presented with a low degree of assertiveness. No correlation was found between psychological profile and age or anthropometric measurements. The prevalence and severity of depression, anxiety, and assertiveness increased with the degree of eating disorders. The feeling of ineffectiveness explained a large degree of score variance. It explained 30 to 50% of the variability of assertiveness, phobias, anxiety, and depression. Conclusion. Psychological dysfunctions had a high prevalence and their severity is correlated with degree of eating disorders. The feeling of ineffectiveness constitutes the major predictor of the psychological profile and could open new ways to develop screening tools.