Purpose: Body dissatisfaction is ubiquitous in our society and leads to eating disorders. Longitudinal research suggests that higher body dissatisfaction predicts higher negative affect and unhealthy weight control behaviors over time. However, no study has assessed how body dissatisfaction impacts affect and weight control behaviors in the moment. In the current study, we examined the momentary relationships between body dissatisfaction, affect and weight control behaviors using ecological momentary assessment. Methods: Female college students (N = 67) completed measures of state body dissatisfaction, affect, and weight control behaviors across fourteen days using ecological momentary assessment. Results: Greater body dissatisfaction significantly predicted lower subsequent positive affect and higher subsequent negative affect, but positive and negative affect did not predict subsequent body dissatisfaction. Daily average body dissatisfaction was not significantly associated with daily engagement in either healthy or unhealthy weight control behaviors. Conclusion: Short-term negative effects of body dissatisfaction on affect were apparent. Targeting body dissatisfaction may be important for improving affect. Level of evidence: Level IV, multiple time series without intervention.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The study was funded by a grant to Dr. Pacanowski by the University of Delaware Research Foundation. The University of Delaware Research Foundation had no role in the study design, collection, analysis or interpretation of the data, writing the manuscript, or the decision to submit the paper for publication.
- Body dissatisfaction
- Body satisfaction
- Eating disorders
- Weight loss
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article