Body dissatisfaction, internalized weight bias and quality of life in young men and women

Abstract

Purpose

We examined the relative importance of body dissatisfaction (BD) and internalized weight bias (IWB) in accounting for variance in quality of life (QoL) impairment in an ethnically diverse sample of college students (n = 630) and potential moderation of these associations by sex.

Methods

Participants completed an online survey that included established measures of BD, IWB and QoL. Regression models were used to examine the relative contributions of BD and IWB in accounting for variance in physical and mental QoL impairment.

Results

BD and IWB were highly correlated with bivariate analysis in both women (r = .76) and men (r = .60). In multivariable analysis, IWB was found to be associated with both physical (b = − 1.33, 95% CI − 1.93, − 0.72) and mental (b = − 2.58, 95% CI − 3.45, − 1.72) QoL impairment, whilst BD was not associated with impairment in either physical (b = − 0.29, 95% CI − 0.68, 0.09) or mental (b = − 0.48, 95% CI − 1.03, 0.07) QoL. While levels of both BD and IWB were higher for women than for men, sex did not moderate the association between either BD or IWB and either physical or mental QoL.

Conclusions

The findings support the view that IWB warrants greater attention in interventions seeking to reduce the adverse impact of BD in both women and men and both normal-weight and overweight individuals.

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Correspondence to Jonathan Mond.

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Purton, T., Mond, J., Cicero, D. et al. Body dissatisfaction, internalized weight bias and quality of life in young men and women. Qual Life Res 28, 1825–1833 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11136-019-02140-w

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Keywords

  • Body image
  • Weight-related discrimination
  • Quality of life
  • Sex differences