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
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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.
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.
KeywordsWeight control Obesity Disordered eating Eating disorders
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