Accuracy of estimating self and other body size among adolescent girls with anorexia nervosa

Eat Disord. 2024 Jan 2;32(1):29-42. doi: 10.1080/10640266.2023.2243425. Epub 2023 Aug 20.


This study aimed to analyze body size estimates of others by patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) and to identify any differences with the perception of their own body size. Adolescent females (age, 13-17 years) were enrolled into AN (n = 30) and control(n = 23) groups. The Subjective Body Dimensions Apparatus (SBDA) was used to evaluate body size estimates for oneself (self-estimation) and others (other-estimation). Participants also completed questionnaires assessing eating disorders and depressive symptoms. The AN and control groups scored significantly higher in self-estimation than in other-estimation. However, the AN group showed higher self-estimation scores than the control group for all the body parts and for the global silhouette (p < .001). Patients with more severe eating disorder symptomatology showed more distorted self-estimation (p < .05). No statistically significant differences were found in the other-estimation scores between the groups (p = .714), indicating that AN and control patients estimate the body sizes of others similarly. Eating disorder symptomatology correlates with self-estimation scores but not with other-estimation scores in adolescents with AN. No correlations existed between clinical symptomatology and other-estimation.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anorexia Nervosa* / diagnosis
  • Body Image
  • Body Size
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders*
  • Female
  • Humans