Adolescents' Addictive Phone Use: Associations with Eating Behaviors and Adiposity

Emma Q. Sutherland, Sarah Domoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Concerns have been raised about excessive or “addictive” phone use among adolescents, and the impact that addictive phone use (APU) can have on adolescent development and health. Most research on the physical health correlates of smartphone use has been limited to sleep health, whereas other outcomes, such as eating behaviors and obesity risk have not received as much attention. To address this gap in the literature, we examined the association between APU and emotion regulation diffculties, impulsivity, maladaptive eating behaviors, and adiposity in a sample of 111 adolescents. We found that APU is associated with greater emotion regulation diffculties, dysregulated eating, restrained eating, food addiction, and higher percent body fat. Further, we found that emotion regulation diffculties mediated the association between APU and dysregulated eating, restrained eating, and food addiction. Findings suggest that addictive phone use may confer increased risk for obesogenic eating behaviors and food addiction via challenges in regulating emotions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2020


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