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Eat Disord. 2008 Jan-Feb;16(1):73-84. doi: 10.1080/10640260701773546.

Fat talk among college students: how undergraduates communicate regarding food and body weight, shape & appearance.

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University of California, Santa Barbara, California 93106-7002, USA.


This article is based on an empirical study designed to learn more about how college students communicate regarding food and body/weight/shape/appearance. Data from a survey of 272 randomly selected college students (82 males and 190 females) were collected and analyzed to explore the relationships of "fat talk," a behavior described by Nichter to refer to conversations about eating and body-related issues, to eating pathology and body dissatisfaction. Results indicate that the frequency of fat talk is positively related to eating pathology and body dissatisfaction in students with and without an eating-disorder diagnosis. Furthermore, results reveal that the most frequently reported topic of fat talk was other people's appearance. Suggestions for modifying conventional prevention and intervention efforts aimed at decreasing undergraduate eating pathology and body dissatisfaction by incorporating strategies to reduce the occurrence of "fat talk" are included.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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