The relationship of body image, body mass index and self-esteem to eating attitudes in a normal sample
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
The purpose of this study was to examine how body image, Body Mass Index (BMI), self-esteem and eating attitudes were related in a non-clinical sample of New Zealand women. The sample consisted of 36 women ranging in age from 17 to 55 years of age. Body image was assessed using the Body Shape Questionnaire, BMI was calculated based on measures of height and weight; eating attitudes was assessed with the Eating Concern subscale of the Eating Disorders Examination and self-esteem was assessed using the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. The results of this study conclude that elevated BMI is associated with higher dissatisfaction with body image, and there is a positive correlation between body image and eating attitudes. Self-esteem and eating attitudes were significantly correlated with lower self-esteem being associated with increased disturbance in eating attitudes. Self-esteem and BMI were found to significantly contribute to eating attitudes on their own as well as together. Body image on its own also made a significant contribution to eating attitudes. Previous research informs us of the negative implications of dissatisfaction with body image, elevated BMI, disturbed eating attitudes and low-self-esteem and this study examines the links between these variables in order to add further information to what contributes to each of the variables. These findings were discussed in light of sociocultural theories of eating disorders and their implications to women from nonclinical populations.