A new study that was published by Drexel University shows that women who have an apple body shape also have a higher risk of binge eating. An apple shape means that you tend to store fat around your abdomen instead of your hips and other body areas. Women who have this shape are more likely to experience loss of control eating and this may be caused in part by a poor body image and low self esteem. This is the very first study that has examined eating disorder development, fat distribution and disturbances in body image. Laura Berner, Ph.D., was the lead author on the study about binge eating and body shape. The study involved around 300 women, and these women were followed for 24 months. None of the study participants had an eating disorder at the beginning of the study.
Berner discussed the binge eating and body shape study and connection and stated “Eating disorders that are detected early are much more likely to be successfully treated. Although existing eating disorder risk models comprehensively address psychological factors, we know of very few biologically-based factors that help us predict who may be more likely to develop eating disorder behaviors. Our preliminary findings reveal that centralized fat distribution may be an important risk factor for the development of eating disturbance, specifically for loss-of-control eating. 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.” Berner also explained that “This sense of loss of control is experienced across a range of eating disorder diagnoses: bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and the binge-eating/purging subtype of anorexia nervosa.”