The impact of stress on emotional eating behaviour among LJMU students


  • Anu Yohannan


Stress, Emotional eating behaviour, PSS, Perceived Stress Scale, SSES, Salzburg Stress Eating Scale


Background: The impact of stress on emotional eating behaviour is a topic of considerable attention. A University student’s eating behaviour can be impacted by stressful circumstances. Studies suggest that stress-prone students frequently alter their quality and quantity of food intake. It is unclear what factors contribute to the parameters linked with stress-eating behaviour. This study intends to investigate the relationship between stress and emotional eating behaviour among LJMU students.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out with a total of 27 participants aged 18 or more who were undergraduate or postgraduate students. This study used an online questionnaire that included questions based on the validated perceived stress scale (PSS) and the Salzburg stress eating scale (SSES). It takes only 10 minutes to complete. Participants were requested to fill out the questionnaire that asked about their sociodemographic characteristics like gender, age, international status, education level and stress level and emotional eating behaviour.

Results: The collected data were analysed using SPSS software. The study found that there is no significant correlation between emotional eating behaviour and stress (r = 0.259 p = 0.212). In addition to that, there is statistically insignificant difference found between gender (p = 0.726), age (p = 0.726), international status of the student (p = 0.386), and education level of student (p = 0.766) with SSES score. Also found insignificant difference between age (p = 0.396), gender (p = 0.648), international status of the student (p = 0.386) and education level (p = 0.364) with PSS score.

Conclusion: This study found that the majority of the university students have moderate stress (72%) and they eat less when experiencing stress (66.7%). Therefore, this finding highlights that student eat less when they experience stress. In summary, this study emphasises the necessity for improving healthy diet and eating habits, and effective stress management techniques among university students for reducing stress and unhealthy diet related health risk.