Negative emotional eating (EE) is associated with unfavorable behavioral and health outcomes. Understanding its association with positive factors, such as optimism, may shed light into novel interventions. We examined the association between optimism and negative EE in US Caribbean Latinx adults, a population disproportionately exposed to adversity.
This cross-sectional analysis used data from the Latino Health and Well-being Study (21–84 years; n = 579). Optimism was measured with the Life Orientation Test-Revised version. EE was measured with the Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire R18-V2. Adjusted Poisson models with robust error variance estimated prevalence ratios (PR).
The proportion of individuals reporting high EE was greater in the low (39.0%) and moderate (36.8%) optimism groups than that in the high optimism group (24.8%; p = 0.011). Individuals with high optimism (vs. low) were less likely to report high EE over no EE (PR = 0.68; 95% CI = 0.53–0.88).
High optimism was negatively associated with high EE. Future studies are needed to confirm our findings and test interventions promoting optimism for preventing negative EE in US Caribbean Latinx adults.