Strict eating routines and frequent rigid behavior patterns are commonly observed in patients with anorexia nervosa (AN). A recent theory proposes that while these behaviors may have been reinforced initially, they later become habitual. To date, however, research has been overly focused on eating-disorder (ED)-related habits. Over the course of seven days, we applied an ecological momentary assessment (EMA) to investigate the habit frequency and strength of ED-specific (food intake) and ED-unspecific (hygiene) habits in the daily lives of a sample of n = 57 AN and n = 57 healthy controls (HC). The results of the hierarchical models revealed that habits were significantly more likely in patients compared with HC for both categories, independently. Furthermore, a lower body mass index (BMI) was associated with increased habit frequency in AN. Our study strengthens the habit theory of AN by showing the relevance of habits beyond ED-specific behavioral domains. This also supports the development of innovative therapeutic interventions targeting habitual behavior in EDs.
|Veröffentlicht - 21 Sept. 2022
- Anorexia Nervosa/therapy, Ecological Momentary Assessment, Feeding Behavior, Feeding and Eating Disorders, Habits, Humans