Quirós-Ramírez, M. Alejandra

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Quirós-Ramírez
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M. Alejandra
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Weight bias and linguistic body representation in anorexia nervosa : Findings from the BodyTalk project

2021-03, Behrens, Simone Claire, Meneguzzo, Paolo, Favaro, Angela, Teufel, Martin, Skoda, Eva-Maria, Lindner, Marion, Walder, Lukas, Quirós-Ramírez, M. Alejandra, Zipfel, Stephan, Mohler, Betty

Objective
This study provides a comprehensive assessment of own body representation and linguistic representation of bodies in general in women with typical and atypical anorexia nervosa (AN).

Methods
In a series of desktop experiments, participants rated a set of adjectives according to their match with a series of computer generated bodies varying in body mass index, and generated prototypic body shapes for the same set of adjectives. We analysed how body mass index of the bodies was associated with positive or negative valence of the adjectives in the different groups. Further, body image and own body perception were assessed.

Results
In a German‐Italian sample comprising 39 women with AN, 20 women with atypical AN and 40 age matched control participants, we observed effects indicative of weight stigmatization, but no significant differences between the groups. Generally, positive adjectives were associated with lean bodies, whereas negative adjectives were associated with obese bodies.

Discussion
Our observations suggest that patients with both typical and atypical AN affectively and visually represent body descriptions not differently from healthy women. We conclude that overvaluation of low body weight and fear of weight gain cannot be explained by generally distorted perception or cognition, but require individual consideration.