Emotional eating is defined as eating behaviors that to weaken the effect of negative and uneasy emotions and experiences. Using food to avoid contact with negative emotions is considered a maladaptive coping strategy. Many studies have been focused to determine how this pattern emerges, for whom it poses a risk, and to what extent it is seen, due to factors such as making weight management difficult and causing additional problems as a dysfunctional coping strategy. However, the lack of a commonly accepted assessment measure and a defined criterion score for the detection of emotional eating in the literature has led to using different strategies in the studies. The use of different methods made it difficult to consistently reveal the effect of negative emotions on food consumption. The fact that emotional eating has not been consistently supported by empirical studies has caused doubts about the existence of this case in question and measures to evaluate emotional eating. Therefore, it was aimed in this study to make an examination on the methods used to determine emotional eating. For this purpose the methods used in the literature were introduced, the research results were reviewed and the advantages and disadvantages of the methods were discussed against each other. Consequently, it has been understood that each method used to determine emotional eating has different limitations in itself. Because of these limitations, emotional eating evaluations seem to be somewhat open to error. In the evaluation of emotional eating, it is recommended to consider many parameters in each method rather than accepting the validity of a single method. However, there is a need to develop and test new and creative measures in the evaluation of emotional eating.
Emotional eating, self-reports measures, ecological momentary assessment, laboratory researches, implicit measures