Binge eating is the most common form of disordered eating associated with obesity, reduced quality of life, and medical and psychological comorbidities. It therefore affects the well-being of individuals. This underscores the fact that it is a serious public health problem. The study aimed to investigate binge eating and anxiety across gender, age and body mass index in a large population sample of adults in Slovenia.


A total of 3,310 adult volunteers participated in this cross-sectional study. Questionnaires, including a binge eating and anxiety scale and an eating behaviour questionnaire, were completed by 1,487 subjects (90.9% female, ages 18 to 69).


The frequency of reported binge eating was 29.9%, with 9.8% of participants reporting severe binge eating, and the presence of overweight and obesity was high (41.8%). BMI was associated with this problematic eating, and explained 5.4% of the variation in binge eating. Importantly, anxiety was the most important factor related to binge eating, with younger participants and women reporting significantly more anxiety.


The high presence of binge eating, obesity and anxiety in the Slovenian population-based sample is worrying. Anxiety is clearly an important factor in understanding the relationship between negative affect and binge eating, as it accounts for a greater proportion of the variance in binge eating symptoms than BMI. Particularly concerning was the fact that the youngest participants showed the greatest anxiety. Targeting anxious adolescents and females is important from a health perspective because it can impact the physical and mental health of the population in the long term.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Medicine, Clinical Medicine, Hygiene and Environmental Medicine