Relations Between Mood States and Eating Behavior During COVID-19 Pandemic in a Sample of Italian College Students

DE PASQUALE, Concetta, SCIACCA, Federica, CONTI, Daniela, PISTORIO, Maria Luisa, HICHY, Zira, CARDULLO, Rosa Loredana and DI NUOVO, Santo (2021). Relations Between Mood States and Eating Behavior During COVID-19 Pandemic in a Sample of Italian College Students. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, p. 684195.

fpsyg-12-684195.pdf - Published Version
Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (233kB) | Preview
Official URL:
Open Access URL: (Published version)
Link to published version::


The fear of contagion during the COVID-19 pandemic has been indicated as a relevant cause of psychological pathologies occurring in this period. Food represents a compensating experience, distracting from the experiences of uncertainty, fear and despair, causing alterations in eating habits and behaviors. The study aims at evaluating the relations between fear of a pandemic, mood states and eating disorders in Italian college students, taking into account gender differences. During the lockdown for the pandemic, a sample of 469 college students equally distributed by gender, was recruited online using a questionnaire including the FCV-19S for the assessment of fear of COVID-19, the profile of mood states (POMS) for the evaluation of different emotional states, the eating disorder inventory-2 (EDI-2) and the binge eating scale (BES) to evaluate the presence of the levels of eating disorders. As expected, all emotive states measured by POMS (tension, depression, anger, tiredness, confusion) resulted significantly correlated with the fear of COVID-19. Women were more exposed to fear of COVID-19 showing greater tension, fatigue, depression and confusion, and a significantly higher total mood disturbance score than males. Regarding the EDI-2 and BES variables, tension and anxiety resulted significantly correlated also with bulimic behavior, while depression with interoceptive awareness, impulsivity, and binge eating behaviors, without gender differences. In conclusion, the negative impact of the fear of COVID-19 on the emotional profile and eating behavior suggests the need to implement strategies against psychological distress during the pandemic emergency, and to design psycho-educational interventions aimed at modifying the lifestyle for preventing risks of mental disorders fostering health-oriented behaviors.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** From Frontiers via Jisc Publications Router ** Licence for this article: **Journal IDs: eissn 1664-1078 **History: published_online 21-07-2021; accepted 25-06-2021; submitted 22-03-2021; collection 2021
Uncontrolled Keywords: Psychology, mood profile, eating disorder, college students, gender differences, fear of COVID-19
Identification Number:
Page Range: p. 684195
SWORD Depositor: Colin Knott
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2021 11:16
Last Modified: 05 Aug 2021 11:16

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics