Overvaluation of Shape and Weight and Associated Features in Patients Without Eating Disorders Seeking Treatment for Obesity

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2020 Apr;28(4):733-739. doi: 10.1002/oby.22750. Epub 2020 Feb 28.


Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the presence of the overvaluation of shape and weight and its associated features in patients with obesity but no eating disorder who were seeking treatment from a specialist unit.

Methods: Overall, 1,134 patients with obesity but no Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders eating disorder diagnosis were included. The Eating Disorder Examination interview was administered by expert clinicians to assess the eating disorder psychopathology and overvaluation of shape and weight. Patients also completed the Symptom Check List-90-Revised and the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey to assess general psychopathology and quality of life, respectively.

Results: Roughly 20% of the patients with obesity presented with clinical overvaluation of shape and weight, which was associated with the female gender, higher expected weight loss, more severe eating-related psychopathology, higher general psychopathology, and lower mental quality of life. Linear and logistic regression analyses indicated that the clinical variables independently correlated with overvaluation of shape and weight in these patients were female gender, Eating Disorder Examination Eating Concern subscale score, and 36-Item Short Form Health Survey mental component summary score.

Conclusions: These findings are sufficient to justify routine assessment of overvaluation of shape and weight in patients seeking treatment for obesity.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Body Image / psychology*
  • Body Weight / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Young Adult