Body Fat Deposition as a Risk Factor for Loss-of-Control Eating

Central truncal fat deposits had direct links.

Reprinted from Eating Disorders Review
March/April Volume 27, Number 2
©2016 iaedp

The pattern of body fat distribution appears to be related to body dissatisfaction, according to the results of a recent study. In what is believed to be the first longitudinal study of body fat distribution, body image, and disordered eating, researchers found that patterns of fat deposits, particularly in the central part of the body, may have special relevance to the development of eating disorders (Am J Clin Nutr. 2015. 102:736).

Dr. Laura A. Berner and colleagues measured body composition in 294 adult women at risk of weight gain. The measurements were made at baseline, and then at 6 months and 24 months. In addition, the researchers assessed loss of control (LOC) eating, body dissatisfaction, and depressive symptoms at baseline, 6 weeks, 6 months, 12 months, and 24 months, using the Eating Disorder Diagnostic Interview and the Multi-dimensional Body-Self Relations Questionnaire-Appearance Scales Body Areas Satisfaction subscale, and a depression scale. Of the original group of 294, 197 women completed all follow-up visits.

Women with greater central fat stores were less satisfied with their bodies and the authors’ longitudinal findings suggest that, independent of body mass index and depressive symptoms, larger stores of truncal fat, especially in the abdominal region, may be a risk factor for development of LOC eating. In addition, the authors reported that the combination of larger percentages of fat stored in such central regions and body dissatisfaction may help maintain or exacerbate LOC eating.

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