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Eat Behav. 2014 Aug;15(3):453-9. doi: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2014.06.014. Epub 2014 Jun 21.

Body weight dissatisfaction: a comparison of women with and without eating disorders.

Author information

1
Department of Women's Health, University of Sydney, Royal North Shore Hospital, NSW 2065, Australia; Northside Clinic, 2 Greenwich Road, Greenwich, NSW 2065, Australia. Electronic address: elisecoker@gmail.com.
2
Department of Women's Health, University of Sydney, Royal North Shore Hospital, NSW 2065, Australia; Northside Clinic, 2 Greenwich Road, Greenwich, NSW 2065, Australia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Body dissatisfaction is present in a majority of women without eating disorders (EDs), and almost all women with EDs. We compared body dissatisfaction in women with and without EDs to determine at which BMI women are content with their weight, and to determine if body dissatisfaction is affected by the presence of purging behaviours.

METHODS:

We assessed women, age 18 to 55 with an ED (N=431) and without an ED (N=719) using the discrepancy between their current and desired BMI. This measure of body weight dissatisfaction (BWD) has been validated as being representative of overall body dissatisfaction. We also measured perceptions of (i) Body Appearance and (ii) Body Image to confirm our results.

RESULTS:

Women with and without EDs wished to lose weight until very low weights were achieved (BMI 15-16 kg/m(2) and BMI 18-19 kg/m(2) respectively). BWD is higher in women with EDs (median 1.77, IQR 0-4.61) than women without EDs (median 0.85, IQR 0-1.80, p<0.001). Purging behaviours in women with EDs were associated with lower BMIs to achieve body satisfaction (BMI 15-16 kg/m(2)) than women who did not purge (16-17 kg/m(2)).

CONCLUSIONS:

Body weight dissatisfaction is highly prevalent amongst women with and without EDs. Understanding body weight dissatisfaction in women with EDs and its association with purging may assist in the prevention, detection and treatment of these disorders. Women with EDs should be informed that body weight dissatisfaction will not resolve with the cessation of their disorder, as it is prevalent within the general population.

KEYWORDS:

Body dissatisfaction; Body image; Body weight dissatisfaction; Desired BMI; Eating disorders; Purging

PMID:
25064299
DOI:
10.1016/j.eatbeh.2014.06.014
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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