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Changes in Body Image Yield a Positive Impact on Eating Behavior

05 Feb

Researchers from University Bochum in Germany studied 41 patients with an eating disorder who participated in a body image group therapy program, to examine the relationship between changes in dysfunctional body and self perceptions and their eating disorder behavior.

Dysfunctional cognitions were assessed with the 'Eating Disorder Cognition Questionnaire', both before and after treatment. Eating disorder psychopathology was also assessed.

Results indicated a significant reduction of dysfunctional cognitions relating to 'body and self-esteem', 'dietary restraint', 'eating and loss of control', as well as 'internalization and social comparison'.

Furthermore, the changes in dysfunctional cognitions were associated with a reduction in eating disorder psychopathology.
The investigators conclude that body image therapy is a worthy complement to standardized eating disorder treatment programs, as it reduces negative eating related thoughts and changes attitudes towards the body.

Citation: Legenbauer T1, Schütt-Strömel S, Hiller W, Vocks S. Predictors of improved eating behaviour following body image therapy: a pilot study. European Eating Disorders Review. 2011 Mar-Apr;19 (2):pp.129-37) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award.