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Investigating Body Image Disturbance in Anorexia Nervosa Using Novel Biometric Figure Rating Scales: A Pilot Study

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Thaler,  A
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Mohler,  B
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Research Group Space and Body Perception, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Mölbert, S., Thaler, A., Streuber, S., Black, M., Karnath, H.-O., Zipfel, S., et al. (2017). Investigating Body Image Disturbance in Anorexia Nervosa Using Novel Biometric Figure Rating Scales: A Pilot Study. European Eating Disorders Review, 25(6), 607-612. doi:10.1002/erv.2559.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0000-C28A-9
Abstract
This study uses novel biometric figure rating scales (FRS) spanning body mass index (BMI) 13.8 to 32.2 kg/m2 and BMI 18 to 42 kg/m2. The aims of the study were (i) to compare FRS body weight dissatisfaction and perceptual distortion of women with anorexia nervosa (AN) to a community sample; (ii) how FRS parameters are associated with questionnaire body dissatisfaction, eating disorder symptoms and appearance comparison habits; and (iii) whether the weight spectrum of the FRS matters. Women with AN (n = 24) and a community sample of women (n = 104) selected their current and ideal body on the FRS and completed additional questionnaires. Women with AN accurately picked the body that aligned best with their actual weight in both FRS. Controls underestimated their BMI in the FRS 14–32 and were accurate in the FRS 18–42. In both FRS, women with AN desired a body close to their actual BMI and controls desired a thinner body. Our observations suggest that body image disturbance in AN is unlikely to be characterized by a visual perceptual disturbance, but rather by an idealization of underweight in conjunction with high body dissatisfaction. The weight spectrum of FRS can influence the accuracy of BMI estimation. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.