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Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 31, Issue 6, pp 853–869 | Cite as

Controlling Your Weight Versus Controlling Your Lifestyle: How Beliefs about Weight Control Affect Risk for Disordered Eating, 10534_2006_9060_Fig3_HTML.gif Dissatisfaction and Self-esteem

  • Michele Laliberte
  • Mandi Newton
  • Randi McCabe
  • Jennifer S. Mills
Original Article

Abstract

Objective

This study investigates the importance of weight control beliefs in increasing or decreasing one’s risk for disordered eating. Beliefs underlying weight control (“weight can and should be controlled”) and non-dieting (“strive for a healthy lifestyle and accept one’s natural weight”) approaches were measured and their relationship to disordered eating, body dissatisfaction and self-esteem examined.

Method

In study 1, a new Weight Control Beliefs Questionnaire was evaluated and the relation to disordered eating, body dissatisfaction and self-esteem was investigated in a non-clinical sample of 138 women. In study 2, the questionnaire’s ability to distinguish eating disordered (n = 37) from non-eating disordered (n = 37) individuals was evaluated.

Results and discussion

A belief that one should control one’s weight (BCWeight) was significantly related to disturbed eating, body dissatisfaction and poor self-esteem, whereas a belief that one should control one’s lifestyle and accept the resulting weight (BCLifestyle) showed a strong protective relationship. The questionnaire successfully discriminated eating disordered from non-eating disordered individuals. It is suggested that treatment approaches for both eating disorders and obesity should be evaluated for their impact on these beliefs.

Keywords

Weight control Obesity Disordered eating Eating disorders 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michele Laliberte
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mandi Newton
    • 3
  • Randi McCabe
    • 4
    • 2
  • Jennifer S. Mills
    • 5
  1. 1.Eating Disorders Program, Community Psychiatry, Fontbonne BldgSt. Joseph’s HealthcareHamiltonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, Faculty of Health SciencesMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  3. 3.Faculty of NursingUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  4. 4.Anxiety Treatment and Research CentreSt. Joseph’s HealthcareHamiltonCanada
  5. 5.Department of PsychologyYork UniversityTorontoCanada

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