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Revista de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 0124-0064

Abstract

ALVAREZ-RAYON, Georgina et al. Body image and eating disorders. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2009, vol.11, n.4, pp.568-578. ISSN 0124-0064.

Objective Assessing the association of age and weight with internalisation of the ideal of being thin, bodily dissatisfaction and eating disorder symptoms amongst three groups of females: teenage, young and adult women. Material and Methods 145 females participated, ranging in age from 12 to 46, who answered four self-reporting questionnaires aimed at measuring symptoms of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, the ideal of being thin and bodily dissatisfaction. The participants’ weight and height were also recorded for calculating their body mass index. Data analysis included descriptive and inferential statistics, specifically Spearman correlation and Kruskal-Wallis test. Results Being an older woman was associated with high internalisation of ideally being thin and bodily dissatisfaction; however, it was not correlated with eating disorder symptoms. Comparisons between groups showed that adult females were more dissatisfied with their bodies and their attitudes towards being thin; however, their attitudes and behaviour concerning abnormal eating were just as inappropriate as that amongst teenagers. Conclusions These findings show the need for research into attitudes towards eating amongst adult women because they use extreme methods for controlling weight which may result in higher health risks.

Keywords : Body image; eating disorder; cultural factor; health mental; body weight; middle aged.

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