Emotional Eating: Implications for Research and Practice in Elite Sports Contexts

Tracey Devonport*, Wendy Nicholls, Chao-Hwa (Josephine) Chen-Wilson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to Book/ReportChapter

Abstract

Due to the physical and aesthetic demands of sport, elite athletes must pay meticulous attention to functional eating, with emphasis on adequate and nutritionally appropriate food. However, it is increasingly recognised that food may also be consumed in response to emotions, known as emotional eating (Macht & Simons, 2011). In the context of elite sport, emotional eating may compromise functional eating goals, as the use of food to regulate emotions is associated with a failure to maintain weight management goals (Elfhag & Rössner, 2005). In this chapter, having first set the nutrition and performance context of elite sport, we examine emotional eating and its role in emotion regulation. We then present applied recommendations intended to help athletes and coaches manage unhelpful emotional eating. We conclude by summarising the implications for research and practice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFeelings in Sport
Subtitle of host publicationTheory, Research, and Practical Implications for Performance and Well-being
EditorsMontse Ruiz, Claudio Robazza
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter19
Edition1
ISBN (Print)9780367509736
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Sep 2020

Publication series

NameRoutledge Psychology of Sport, Exercise and Physical Activity
PublisherRoutledge

Keywords

  • Emotional eating

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  • Cite this

    Devonport, T., Nicholls, W., & Chen-Wilson, C-H. J. (Accepted/In press). Emotional Eating: Implications for Research and Practice in Elite Sports Contexts. In M. Ruiz, & C. Robazza (Eds.), Feelings in Sport : Theory, Research, and Practical Implications for Performance and Well-being (1 ed.). (Routledge Psychology of Sport, Exercise and Physical Activity). Routledge.