Repetitive body checking and avoidance are viewed as behavioral manifestations of the core psychopathology of eating disorders (EDs). We examined select body checking and avoidance behaviors in overweight patients with binge eating disorder (BED).
Three hundred seventy-seven overweight (body mass index [BMI] ≥ 25) treatment-seeking BED patients (80 men and 297 women) were administered measures to assess body checking and avoidance, other key behavioral features of EDs (binge eating, dietary restraint, and disinhibition), and the core psychopathology of EDs (overevaluation of weight and shape).
The majority of participants reported regularly pinching areas of their body to check for fatness and avoided wearing clothing that made them particularly aware of their body. Significant associations emerged between checking and restraint, and conversely, between avoidance and binge eating. Both checking and avoidance were positively and significantly associated with overevaluation of weight and shape, even after controlling for their unique effects.
These findings offer support to the potential role of checking and avoidance behaviors in the maintenance of BED. © 2005 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.