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Dieting frequency among college females: Association with disordered eating, body image, and related psychological problems

Authors
Journal
Journal of Psychosomatic Research
0022-3999
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
52
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/s0022-3999(01)00269-0
Keywords
  • Body Image
  • Depression
  • Dieting
  • Eating Disorders
  • Self-Esteem

Abstract

Abstract Objective: To examine associations between dieting frequency and eating disorder behaviors, body satisfaction, and related factors. Method: Females ( N=345) whose average age and body mass index (BMI) were 20.58 and 21.79, respectively, were grouped into three categories of lifetime dieting frequency (never, 1–5 times, or 6 or more times) and matched on current BMI across categories. Results: Positive associations were found between dieting frequency and eating disorder symptoms and related problems such as body dissatisfaction, current body size perception, depression, exercise preoccupation, and feelings of ineffectiveness and insecurity. Dieting frequency was inversely associated with self-esteem, ideal body size, emotional regulation, and impulse control. Discussion: Independent of current BMI, frequency of dieting behaviors is strongly associated with negative emotions and problematic behaviors. As this study is correlational in nature, future longitudinal studies should ascertain the sequence of onset of these experiences.

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