Master of Arts (MA)
ACHA, body dissatisfaction, body image, healthy women, intentional weightloss, self-discrepancy theory
Psychology; Health sciences; Social psychology
Although there is an extensive literature on women who are overweight, obese, or suffer from eating disorders, less is known about women who are at a healthy weight yet who are attempting to lose weight. To learn more about the psychological characteristics and behavioral patterns of such women, this study analyzed data from the American College Health Association's National College Health Assessment (ACHA-NCHA-II). We compared these women with two groups of women: (a) those who are at a healthy weight but who are not attempting to lose weight and (b) overweight women who are attempting to lose weight. We employed numerous variables including BMI, depression, anxiety, academic performance, exercise, and diet strategies in these comparisons. In terms of psychological health and weight-related behavior, healthy women attempting weight loss are more similar to overweight women who are attempting weight loss than they are to healthy women who are not attempting to lose weight. We found comparatively high rates of depression, anxiety, and academic difficulty among our target population. Based on our findings and the relevant literature, we recommend that university health officials provide weight-related educational information to female students in an effort to promote psychological well-being and healthy weight practices.
Ryan, Kelsea Marie, "Intentional Weight Loss among Healthy Women: Behavior Patterns and Psychological Concerns" (2014). Master's Theses. 4515.