No correlation among expressed emotion, anxiety, stress and weight loss in patients with overweight and obesity

  • Carla Gramaglia
  • Eleonora Gattoni
  • Camilla Vecchi
  • Elisa Di Tullio
  • Giampaolo Biroli
  • Federico D'Andrea
  • Sergio Riso
  • Maria Rosaria Gualano
  • Marco Marchetti
  • Marco Sarchiapone
  • Roberta Siliquini
  • Patrizia Zeppegno
Keywords: Expressed Emotion, Anxiety, Stress, Obesity, Overweight


Background: The onset of some types of obesity may correlate with specific familial relational patterns, and expressed emotion (EE), the family life’s ‘emotional temperature’, may play a role in obesity treatment compliance and outcome.

Objective: The aim of this study is to address the current gap in the literature about EE and obesity, assessing EE in a sample of patients with overweight or obesity and their relatives. A further objective is to assess patients’ weight loss, patients’ and relatives’ anxiety, perceived stress and their possible correlation with EE and diet compliance.

Design: A total of 220 patients with overweight or obesity and 126 relatives were recruited; their socio-demographic and clinical features were collected; and Level of Expressed Emotion Scale (LEE), State-Trait Anxiety Inventory 1 and 2 (STAI-Y1 and STAI-Y2) and Paykel Scale of Stressful Life Events were administered.

Results: Patients’ baseline body mass index (BMI) was negatively correlated with educational level, but we failed to find any correlation between BMI and the other variables assessed. We found a positive correlation between EE median and stressful life events, as well as between median EE and state and trait anxiety.

Conclusions: Our results seem to suggest that other factors than the psychological ones we investigated may play a role in treatment adherence and outcome in patients with overweight and obesity.


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How to Cite
Gramaglia C., Gattoni E., Vecchi C., Di Tullio E., Biroli G., D’Andrea F., Riso S., Gualano M. R., Marchetti M., Sarchiapone M., Siliquini R., & Zeppegno P. (2019). No correlation among expressed emotion, anxiety, stress and weight loss in patients with overweight and obesity. Food & Nutrition Research, 63.
Original Articles