Skip header navigation

University of Stirling

×

Article

Fixation Patterns, Not Clinical Diagnosis, Predict Body Size Over-Estimation in Eating Disordered Women and Healthy Controls

Citation
Cornelissen KK, Cornelissen PL, Hancock PJB & Tovee MJ (2016) Fixation Patterns, Not Clinical Diagnosis, Predict Body Size Over-Estimation in Eating Disordered Women and Healthy Controls, International Journal of Eating Disorders, 49 (5).

Abstract
Objective  A core feature of anorexia nervosa (AN) is an over-estimation of body size. Women with AN have a different pattern of eye-movements when judging bodies, but it is unclear whether this is specific to their diagnosis or whether it is found in anyone over-estimating body size.  Method  To address this question, we compared the eye movement patterns from three participant groups while they carried out a body size estimation task: (i) 20 women with recovering/recovered anorexia (rAN) who had concerns about body shape and weight and who over-estimated body size, (ii) 20 healthy controls who had normative levels of concern about body shape and who estimated body size accurately (iii) 20 healthy controls who had normative levels of concern about body shape but who did over-estimate body size.  Results  Comparisons between the three groups showed that: (i) accurate body size estimators tended to look more in the waist region, and this was independent of clinical diagnosis; (ii) there is a pattern of looking at images of bodies, particularly viewing the upper parts of the torso and face, which is specific to participants with rAN but which is independent of accuracy in body size estimation.  Discussion  Since the over-estimating controls did not share the same body image concerns that women with rAN report, their over-estimation cannot be explained by attitudinal concerns about body shape and weight. These results suggest that a distributed fixation pattern is associated with over-estimation of body size and should be addressed in treatment programs.

Keywords
body size over-estimation; eye-movements; anorexia nervosa; BMI

Journal
International Journal of Eating Disorders: Volume 49, Issue 5

StatusPublished
Author(s)Cornelissen, Katri K; Cornelissen, Piers L; Hancock, Peter J B; Tovee, Martin J
Publication date01/05/2016
Publication date online21/03/2016
Date accepted by journal11/12/2015
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/24025
PublisherWiley-Blackwell
ISSN0276-3478
LanguageEnglish
Scroll back to the top