Emotion-driven impulsiveness and snack food consumption of European adolescents: Results from the I.Family study

J.M.J. Coumans, U.N. Danner, T. Intemann, A. de Decker, C. Hadjigeorgiou, M. Hunsberger, L.A. Moreno, P. Russo, S. Stomfai, T. Veidebaum, R.A.H. Adan, A. Hebestreit*, I.Family Consortium

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We aimed to investigate the association between emotion-driven impulsiveness and snack food consumption in 1039 European adolescents aged 12-18 years. During the cross-sectional examination in 2013/2014, complete information was collected on: emotion-driven impulsiveness (using the negative urgency subscale from the Urgency, Premeditation, Perseverance, Sensation seeking, and Positive urgency (UPPS-P) Impulsive Behaviour Scale) and snacking behaviour operationalised as 1) consumption frequency of daily snacks, 2) consumption frequency of energy-dense snacks (both measured using Food Frequency Questionnaire) and 3) usual energy intake of food consumed per snacking occasion in calories. The latter was measured using online self-administered 24-h dietary recalls and was estimated based on the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Method. Anthropometric variables were measured and BMI z-score (zBMI) calculated. Age, sex, highest education level of the family and country of residence were assessed using a questionnaire. Mixed-effect regression analyses were separately conducted for each snacking behaviour outcome with emotion-driven impulsiveness as the exposure. After controlling for zBMI, age, sex, country and socioeconomic status, emotion-driven impulsiveness was positively associated with daily consumption frequency of snacks (beta = 0.07, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) [0.02, 0.12]) and consumption frequency of energy-dense snacks (beta = 0.25, 95% CI [0.19, 0.311), but not with usual energy intake of food per snacking (beta = 2.52, 95% CI [-0.55, 5.59]). Adolescents with a stronger emotion-driven impulsiveness tendency reported a higher snacking frequency and specifically more energy-dense snacks, whereas the energy intake of snack food seemed less important. These findings have implications for obesity prevention and treatment as they indicate the importance of targeting emotion-driven impulsiveness as a strategy to avoid excessive snacking. (C) 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-159
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018



  • Body mass index
  • Children
  • Energy-dense snacks
  • Europe
  • MOOD
  • Negative urgency
  • Snacking frequency

Cite this

Coumans, J. M. J., Danner, U. N., Intemann, T., de Decker, A., Hadjigeorgiou, C., Hunsberger, M., Moreno, L. A., Russo, P., Stomfai, S., Veidebaum, T., Adan, R. A. H., Hebestreit, A., & I.Family Consortium (2018). Emotion-driven impulsiveness and snack food consumption of European adolescents: Results from the I.Family study. Appetite, 123, 152-159. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2017.12.018