An integrative affect regulation process model of internalized weight bias and intuitive eating in college women

Appetite. 2016 Jul 1:102:60-9. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2016.02.024. Epub 2016 Feb 15.


The present study extended the weight stigma and well-being process model (Tylka et al., 2014) by examining three affect regulation pathways that may help simultaneously explain the predicted inverse association between internalized weight bias and intuitive eating. A weight-diverse sample of 333 college women completed an online survey assessing internalized weight stigma, intuitive eating, body shame, body image flexibility, and self-compassion. Self-reported height and weight were used to calculate body mass index (BMI). Non-parametric bootstrap resampling procedures were computed to ascertain the presence of the indirect effects of internalized weight bias on intuitive eating via the three hypothesized mediators controlling for BMI in a combined model. Results demonstrated that body image flexibility significantly and self-compassion marginally contributed unique variance in accounting for this relationship. Our preliminary cross-sectional findings contribute to a nascent body of scholarship seeking to provide a theoretically-driven understanding of how negative and positive forms of experiencing and relating to the body may co-occur within individuals. Results also point to potential target variables to consider incorporating in later-stage efforts to promote more adaptive ways of eating amidst internalized weight stigma.

Keywords: Body image flexibility; Body shame; College women; Internalized weight bias; Intuitive eating; Self-compassion.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorders / epidemiology
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorders / etiology*
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorders / psychology
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Empathy
  • Feeding Behavior / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Intuition
  • Models, Psychological*
  • North Carolina / epidemiology
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Overweight / epidemiology
  • Overweight / prevention & control*
  • Overweight / psychology
  • Preliminary Data
  • Prevalence
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Concept*
  • Social Stigma*
  • Young Adult