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

Abstract

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.

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Correspondence to Susan Kashubeck-West.

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Kashubeck-West, S., Mintz, L.B. & Weigold, I. Separating the Effects of Gender and Weight-Loss Desire on Body Satisfaction and Disordered Eating Behavior. Sex Roles 53, 505–518 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-005-7138-4

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Keywords

  • body image
  • eating disorders
  • gender differences
  • weight-loss strategies