An investigation of relationships between disordered eating behaviors, weight/shape overvaluation and mood in the general population

Felipe Q. da Luz*, Amanda Sainsbury, Haider Mannan, Stephen Touyz, Deborah Mitchison, Federico Girosi, Phillipa Hay

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Disordered eating behaviors and cognitions have been extensively examined in samples of individuals with eating disorders, as well as in non-clinical samples. However, such examinations are lacking in the general population. We investigated disordered eating behaviors and cognitions in a community representative sample of 6052 participants in South Australia, aged 15–99 years. Participants were interviewed regarding weight/shape overvaluation, strict dieting, binge eating, purging, low mood and body mass index (BMI). Linear and logistic regression analyses were used to estimate the direct effects between these features. Steiger's Z test was used to compare the difference between the semi-partial associations of low mood and strict dieting with binge eating. Our findings suggest that similar relationships between strict dieting, low mood, purging and binge eating to those shown in the trans-diagnostic cognitive-behavioral model of eating disorders in clinical samples occur in the general community. However, in the general population, strict dieting was associated with elevated BMIs (and not with low BMIs as predicated by the model). Although this study does not ascertain any causal relationships in the observed associations, public health messages or services for weight reduction in people with higher body weights could potentially benefit from integration with messages addressing mood disorders and purging, in order to reduce potential adverse effects on disordered eating behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-24
Number of pages6
JournalAppetite
Volume129
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018

Keywords

  • disordered eating
  • binge eating
  • low mood
  • general population

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