In the present study we investigated the evaluation of body shapes in patients with restrictive anorexia nervosa (AN) on both automatic and controlled levels. The first aim of the study was to examine whether an ultra-thin ideal or negative attitudes toward overweight might be the motivation behind pathological restriction. The second aim was to investigate the relationship between body figure evaluations, eating disorder symptoms and mood. A Modified Affective Priming Test was used to measure implicit evaluations of body silhouettes, while a Likert scale was used to assess explicit evaluations. The study involved 35 women with restrictive anorexia nervosa and 35 age- and education-level-matched controls with normal body weight. In contrast to the control group, the patients did not show a positive attitude toward the ultra-thin body shape on the automatic level. The AN group both on the automatic and the self-reported levels evaluated the overweight body as negative. Depression and anxiety did not influence body evaluation. Strong negative evaluation of overweight appears to be a key issue in AN rather than positive evaluation of ultra-thin role models.
- Affective Priming Test
- Drive for thinness and attitudes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry