Media exposure and associated stress contribute to eating pathology in women with Anorexia Nervosa: Daily and momentary associations

Emily K. White, Cortney S. Warren, Li Cao, Ross D. Crosby, Scott G. Engel, Stephen A. Wonderlich, James E. Mitchell, Carol B. Peterson, Scott J. Crow, Daniel Le Grange

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Objective: We examined whether media exposure and media-induced stress contributed to eating disorder behaviors immediately and over the course of a day in women with anorexia nervosa (AN). Method: Women with AN (N = 118) completed a 2-week ecological momentary assessment protocol during which they reported on exposure to food, shape, or weight-related media, associated stress, and eating behaviors. Results: Food, weight, or shape-related media exposure alone did not predict more frequent daily eating disorder behaviors. However, stress associated with media exposure was prospectively associated with a greater likelihood of binge eating and vomiting at the next assessment point. In addition, media-induced stress increased the probability of restrictive eating and fluid intake, vomiting, and laxative abuse across the day. Discussion: Media-induced stress may contribute to increased eating disorder behaviors in women with AN, as women who saw a media image and reported this experience as stressful were more likely to engage in momentary binge eating or vomiting. Reducing stress associated with viewing media images could be a potential target for therapeutic intervention with disordered eating.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)617-621
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016



  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Eating pathology
  • Ecological momentary assessment
  • Media exposure
  • Media stress

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

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