Sex Roles

, Volume 53, Issue 7, pp 505-518

First online:

Separating the Effects of Gender and Weight-Loss Desire on Body Satisfaction and Disordered Eating Behavior

  • Susan Kashubeck-WestAffiliated withDivision of Counseling and Family Therapy, University of MissouriDivision of Counseling and Family Therapy, University of Missouri, St. Louis Email author 
  • , Laurie B. MintzAffiliated withDepartment of Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology, University of Missouri
  • , Ingrid WeigoldAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Texas Tech University

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The purpose of this study was to separate the effects of gender from those of desired weight loss on body satisfaction and eating disordered behavior. Therefore, we explored gender differences in a sample (N = 191) of men and women who wanted to lose weight. We expected that controlling for desire to lose weight would minimize gender differences; this was supported for (a) overall body dissatisfaction, and (b) degree of concern about, effect of, and importance of weight and appearance. Nevertheless, women reported (a) less satisfaction with several body parts, (b) stronger relations between body satisfaction and self-esteem, and (c) use of more weight-loss strategies. Exploratory analyses also were conducted to examine within-group differences among men. Implications are discussed.


body image eating disorders gender differences weight-loss strategies