Ladies please take note! Women with greater fat stores in their trunk and abdominal areas may be less satisfied with their bodies – a factor that could contribute to binge eating, a new study shows.
The research marks the connection between fat distribution, body image disturbance and the development of disordered eating, especially among women. “Our preliminary findings reveal that centralised fat distribution may be an important risk factor for the development of eating disturbance, specifically for loss-of-control eating,” said lead author Laura Berner from the University of California – San Diego Health in the US.
“This suggests that targeting individuals who store more of their fat in the midsection and adapting psychological interventions to focus specifically on body fat distribution could be beneficial for preventing eating disorders,” said Berner.
For the study, at least 300 young adult women completed assessments at baseline, six months and 24 months, that looked at height, weight and total body fat percentage and where it is distributed. The findings indicated that storage of body fat in trunk and abdominal regions, is more strongly predictive of loss-of-control eating development and worsening over time. The larger percentages of fat stored in these central regions and body dissatisfaction may serve as maintenance or exacerbation for loss-of-control eating.
The specificity of the findings to centralised fat deposition was also surprising. “For example, a one-unit increase in the percentage of body fat stored in the abdominal region was associated with a 53 percent increase in the risk of developing loss-of-control eating over the next two years, whereas total percentage body fat did not predict loss-of-control eating development,” Berner said.
The findings were published in the journal of Clinical Nutrition.