The extent to which an individual appreciates their own body is recognised as a proximal predictor of intuitive eating, but the mechanisms underlying this relationship are less clearly understood. This study tested whether two partially independent, self-reported facets of interoceptive ability: 'interoceptive awareness' (defined as the ability to detect internal bodily cues) and 'interoceptive responsiveness' (the way in which individuals value and respond to these cues) mediated the relationship between body appreciation and three subscales of intuitive eating: 'unconditional permission to eat'; 'reliance on internal hunger and satiety cues', and 'eating for physical rather than emotional reasons'. Multiple mediation analyses of data from an online survey of Australian college women (n = 200) showed that: (1) interoceptive awareness partially mediated the relationship between body appreciation and 'reliance on internal hunger and satiety cues', and (2) interoceptive responsiveness partially mediated the relationship between all three subscales of intuitive eating. Although preliminary, this work lends support to the theoretical framework of the acceptance model of intuitive eating and extends it by suggesting that the different facets of intuitive eating may have distinct underlying mechanisms.
Keywords: College women; Eating behaviour; Interoceptive awareness; Intuitive eating.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.