Women who have an apple-shaped body tend to store more fat in their trunk as well as abdominal areas. This makes them feel less satisfied with their bodies, making them binge eat. The study is the first of its kind that is looking at connections between fat distribution, body image disturbance and development of disordered eating.
Lead author of the study, Laura Berner, who had completed the research while she was pursuing a doctoral degree at Drexel University in the U.S., said that eating disorders that get detected early are very likely to be treated successfully. Berner said that “Our preliminary findings reveal that centralized fat distribution may be an important risk factor for the development of eating disturbance, specifically for loss-of-control eating. She further added that targeting particular individuals that store more fat in the midsection and adapting psychological interventions to focus on body fat distribution can help in preventing eating disorders.
Sense of loss of control while eating food has been observed across a range of eating disorders such as bulimia nervosa, binge-eating/purging subtype of anorexia nervosa and binge eating disorder. For the study, researchers had investigated whether body fat distribution is associated with body dissatisfaction over a period of time and increases risk of development or worsening of loss-of-control eating.
The researchers found that women who had greater central fat stores, independent of their depression levels or total body mass, were highly likely to develop loss-of-control eating. These women also showed steadier increase in loss-of-control eating episode frequency over a period of time.
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