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Keywords:

  • weight suppression;
  • restraint;
  • twins;
  • eating disorders;
  • binge eating

Abstract

Objective:

Weight suppression (WS), maintaining a body weight below one's maximum adult weight, is associated with bingeing, purging, and weight gain in clinical samples.

Method:

We investigated associations between eating disorder-related variables and WS and additive genetic (A), common (C), and unique (E) environmental contributions to WS in a population-based sample of 1,503 female adult twins.

Results:

Modeling results were similar for participants reporting no binge eating (NBE) and those reporting binge eating plus loss of control (BE + LOC): 20–25% of the variance in WS was due to A and 70–75% due to E. Among NBE participants, restraint, drive for thinness, body dissatisfaction, and dieting during child/adulthood were related to WS. Restraint, disinhibition, and dieting during childhood were significantly associated with WS in the BE + LOC subsample.

Discussion:

Although maintaining lower body weight could be advantageous, interventionists should take care when addressing weight suppression in individuals vulnerable to eating disorder symptomatology. © 2010 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2011; 44:44–49)