Mental health impairment associated with eating-disorder features in a community sample of women

J. M. Mond*, P. J. Hay, B. Rodgers, C. Owen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Aims:Impairment in mental health associated with eating-disorder features was examined in a large, general population sample of women aged 18 to 42 years. Method:Participants (n=5255) completed self-report measures of eating-disordered behaviour, mental health functioning, height and weight and socio-demographic information. Results:The most common eating-disorder features were extreme concerns about weight or shape (14.6%), subjective overeating (12.7%), objective overeating (10.6%) and extreme concerns about dietary intake (10.4%). In multivariable analysis, in which mental health functioning was regressed on eating-disorder features, while also controlling for age and body weight, objective overeating (β=-0.07), subjective overeating (β=-0.07), extreme dietary restriction (β=-0.06) and extreme concerns about eating (β=-0.04) showed small, but statistically significant associations with mental health impairment, whereas extreme weight or shape concerns showed a very strong association (β=-0.24). Conclusions:From a clinical perspective, the findings are consistent with the importance attached to the "over-evaluation" of weight or shape as a core component of eating-disorder psychopathology. From a public health perspective, the findings indicate the need to conceive of body dissatisfaction as a target for health promotion in its own right.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)456-466
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Mental Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Eating-disordered behaviour
  • impairment
  • mental health
  • weight or shape concerns


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