Yoga and pilates: Associations with body image and disordered-eating behaviors in a population-based sample of young adults

Authors

  • Dianne Neumark-Sztainer PhD, MPH, RD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minnesota
    • Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minnesota
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  • Marla E. Eisenberg ScD, MPH,

    1. Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minnesota
    2. Division of Adolescent Health and Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota, Minnesota
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  • Melanie Wall PhD,

    1. Division of Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minnesota
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  • Katie A. Loth MPH, RD

    1. Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minnesota
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Abstract

Objective

To examine associations between participating in mind-body activities (yoga/Pilates) and body dissatisfaction and disordered eating (unhealthy and extreme weight control practices and binge eating) in a population-based sample of young adults.

Method

The sample included 1,030 young men and 1,257 young women (mean age: 25.3 years, SD = 1.7) who participated in Project EAT-III (Eating and Activity in Teens and Young Adults).

Results

Among women, disordered eating was prevalent in yoga/Pilates participants and nonparticipants, with no differences between the groups. Men participating in yoga/Pilates were more likely to use extreme weight control behaviors (18.6% vs. 6.8%, p = .006) and binge eating (11.6% vs. 4.2%, p = .023), and marginally more likely to use unhealthy weight control behaviors (49.1% vs. 34.5%; p = .053), than nonparticipants after adjusting for sociodemographics, weight status, and overall physical activity.

Discussion

Findings suggest the importance of helping yoga/Pilates instructors recognize that their students may be at risk for disordered eating. © 2010 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2010

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