Association between food addiction and body dissatisfaction among college students: The mediating role of eating expectancies

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Summary: Eating expectancies are a self reported measure that assesses participants’ cognitive expectancies for reinforcement from eating, comprising of five subscales: Eating Helps Manage Negative Affect, Eating Alleviates Boredom, Eating Is Pleasurable and is Useful as a Reward, Eating Enhances Cognitive Competence, and Eating Leads to Feeling Out of Control. These were evaluated as prenatal mediators linking food addiction and body dissatisfaction. The results showed a positive association between food addiction and body dissatisfaction that was partially mediated by the expectancy that eating leads to feeling out of control. Partial mediation implies that there is not only a significant relationship between food addiction and body dissatisfaction, but also there is also some direct relationship which leads individuals with food addiction to develop body dissatisfaction. This implies that individuals who expect that eating will lead them to feel out of control are more likely to have body dissatisfaction as a result of this expectancy.

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