Factors associated with disordered eating behaviors and attitudes in older women

  • Isabelle CarrardEmail author
  • Stéphane Rothen
Original Article



The present study explored the potential factors associated with disordered eating behaviors and attitudes in older women.


Women aged 60–75 years were recruited in the community (n = 203) and completed questionnaires. The Eating Disorder Examination-Questionnaire (EDE-Q) was used to evaluate disordered eating behaviors and attitudes. The independent variables were BMI, age, importance of appearance, importance of body competence, cognitive reappraisal, and fear of age-related appearance changes. Spearman correlation analyses and zero-inflated negative binomial regression models were used to analyze the data.


BMI was positively associated with EDE-Q restraint, EDE-Q eating concern, and EDE-Q frequency of objective binge-eating episodes. Importance of appearance was positively related to EDE-Q restraint, and fear of age-related appearance changes to EDE-Q eating concern and objective binge-eating episodes. Cognitive reappraisal was negatively associated with EDE-Q eating concern and excessive exercise in bivariate associations, but the relationships disappeared in the multivariate analyses.


BMI, importance of appearance, and fear of age-related appearance changes turned out to be positively associated with eating disordered behaviors and attitudes, similarly to what can be observed in middle-aged samples. However, the role of cognitive reappraisal was unclear and should be investigated further.

Level of evidence

Level V: cross-sectional descriptive study.


Women Aging Risk factors Eating disorders Disordered eating Zero sensitive 



An internal grant was received from the University of Applied Science and Arts Western Switzerland (HES-SO) scientific committee for research in health.


I. Carrard received an internal grant to conduct this research from the University of Applied Science and Arts Western Switzerland (HES-SO) scientific committee for research in health (Grant number 65900/S-RAD16-47).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Isabelle Carrard declares that she has no conflict of interest. Stéphane Rothen declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in the present study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Written informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, School of Health SciencesUniversity of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland (HES-SO)GenevaSwitzerland
  2. 2.Geneva University HospitalsGenevaSwitzerland

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