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Body Image. 2008 Mar;5(1):91-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2007.08.001. Epub 2008 Jan 10.

Body checking and avoidance among behavioral weight-loss participants.

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Department of Psychology, University of Hawaii, Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA.


The present study examined the psychological and weight-related correlates of body checking and avoidance behaviors in individuals who have lost weight through obesity treatment. Among 185 individuals in behavioral weight-control treatment, the prevalence of body checking and avoidance behavior was assessed, as well as the relationship of checking and avoidance to attitudinal disturbances, weight loss, and perception of struggling in treatment. Checking and avoidance were frequent, and they correlated significantly with higher overvaluation of shape and weight, lower self-esteem, greater body dissatisfaction, higher fear of fat, and the perception of greater struggling in weight-loss treatment. Checking was inversely correlated with the percentage weight lost in treatment and BMI lost but not related to pre-treatment or current BMI. Thus, body checking and avoidance behaviors were associated with psychological disturbances and poorer treatment outcome.

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