Overweight and obesity are associated with increased eating disorder correlates and general psychopathology in university women with eating disorders.

Affiliation

Balantekin KN(1), Grammer AC(2), Fitzsimmons-Craft EE(2), Eichen DE(3), Graham AK(4), Monterubio GE(2), Firebaugh ML(2), Karam AM(2), Sadeh-Sharvit S(5), Goel NJ(6), Flatt RE(7), Trockel MT(8), Taylor CB(9), Wilfley DE(2).
Author information:
(1)Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, USA. Electronic address: [Email]
(2)Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA.
(3)Department of Pediatrics, University of California San Diego, San Diego, CA, USA.
(4)Department of Medical Social Sciences, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA.
(5)Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA; Center for m
(2)Health, Palo Alto University, Palo Alto, CA, USA; Baruch Ivcher School of Psychology, Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, Israel.
(6)Department of Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA; Institute for Inclusion, Inquiry and Innovation
(iCubed), Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA.
(7)Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.
(8)Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA.
(9)Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA; Center for m
(2)Health, Palo Alto University, Palo Alto, CA, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Examine how eating disorder (ED) correlates, ED-related clinical impairment, general psychopathology, and ED diagnoses differ across weight statuses in a sample of university women with EDs. METHOD: Participants were 690 women from 28 U.S. universities who screened positive for an ED (with the exception of anorexia nervosa [AN]) and participated in the Healthy Body Image Program study. ED correlates, ED-related clinical impairment, general psychopathology (i.e., depression and anxiety), and ED diagnoses were compared across weight statuses (i.e., healthy weight, overweight, obesity) using analyses of variance and chi-square tests. RESULTS: Women with EDs and overweight or obesity had higher levels of, perceived benefit of thinness, depressive symptoms, anxiety, and weight/shape concerns (obesity only) than those with healthy weight (ps ≤ .017). Compared to those with healthy weight, those with obesity had higher rates of clinical and sub-clinical binge eating disorder and lower rates of bulimia nervosa (p < .001). DISCUSSION: Overweight and obesity in individuals with EDs, excluding AN, are associated with greater severity of ED correlates, ED-related clinical impairment, and co-morbid general psychopathology. The current study highlights the need to consider weight status in ED treatment and for optimization of ED treatments to address shared risk factors between EDs and overweight and obesity.