Eating and Weight Disorders – Studies on Anorexia, Bulimia, and Obesity
Author ORCID Identifier
Tyson Barrett https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2137-1391
Michael Twohig https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2936-5962
Purpose: This study sought to explore the associations between Intuitive Eating (IE), eating disorder (ED) symptom severity, and body image-related cognitive fusion within a clinical sample. IE was also examined as a possible mediator in the relationship between body image-related fusion and ED symptoms.
Methods: This study includes cross-sectional analyses with data from 100 adult females and 75 adolescent females seeking residential treatment for an ED. Self-reported demographic information, ED symptoms, IE behaviors, and body image-related cognitive fusion were collected from participants within the first week of treatment following admission to the same residential ED treatment facility.
Results: ED symptom severity was significantly negatively associated with three of the four domains of IE; unconditional permission to eat, reliance on hunger and satiety cues, and body-food choice congruence. A significant mediational effect of IE on the relationship between body image-related fusion and ED symptoms through IE behaviors was observed (β=11.3, SE=.003, pp=.003) and reliance on hunger and satiety cues (β=.10, p=.005) domains of IE when the domains were subsequently analyzed individually.
Conclusion: Unconditional permission to eat and reliance on hunger and satiety cues appear to be particularly influential domains of IE in the relationship between body image-related fusion and ED symptom severity. It is possible that changes in these IE domains may be mechanisms through which body image-related fusion influences ED symptoms. Future longitudinal research is needed to better understand the relationship between body image-related cognitive fusion and IE and the potential for targeting these constructs specifically in the context of ED treatment.
Barney, J.L., Barrett, T.S., Lensegrav-Benson, T., Quakenbush, B., Twohig, M.P. (in press). Examining a mediation model of body image-related cognitive fusion, intuitive eating, and eating disorder symptom severity in a clinical sample. Eating and Weight Disorders – Studies on Anorexia, Bulimia, and Obesity