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An investigation of weight suppression in a population-based sample of female twins

Authors

  • Karen S. Mitchell PhD,

    1. Department of Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia
    2. Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia
    Current affiliation:
    1. Clinical Research Psychologist, Women's Health Sciences Division, National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System (116B-3), 150 S. Huntington Ave., Boston, Massachussetts 02130.
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  • Michael C. Neale PhD,

    1. Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia
    2. Department of Psychiatry, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia
    3. Department of Human and Molecular Genetics, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia
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  • Cynthia M. Bulik PhD,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
    2. Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
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  • Michael Lowe PhD,

    1. Department of Psychology, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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  • Hermine H. Maes PhD,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia
    2. Department of Human and Molecular Genetics, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia
    3. Massey Cancer Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia
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  • Kenneth S. Kendler MD,

    1. Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia
    2. Department of Psychiatry, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia
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  • Suzanne E. Mazzeo PhD

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia
    2. Department of Pediatrics, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia
    • Department of Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University PO Box 842018 Richmond, Virginia 23284-2018
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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)

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