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Eat Weight Disord. 2002 Dec;7(4):324-7.

The cumulative impact of being overweight on women's body esteem: a preliminary study.

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Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary, ABT, Canada.


As much research indicates that a woman's current weight status is an important predictor of her body esteem, we examined the relationship between weight status history (retrospective self-report since the age of 5 years) and current body esteem among 266 female college students, who completed a measure of body esteem and reported whether they had been "underweight", "normal weight", or "overweight" during 3 age ranges. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to examine differences in current body esteem between groups characterised by the following weight history trajectories: "always overweight", "always normal/underweight", "increase in weight over time" and "decrease in weight over time". Although the women in the groups "always overweight" and "increase in weight over time" were currently overweight [according to self-reported body mass index (BMI)], the current body esteem of the former was significantly lower (worse) than that of the latter. We introduce the idea that being overweight for a long period of time has a cumulatve negative impact on adult body esteem.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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