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Attractive partners can trigger eating disorder in women

News Agencies | Updated on: 18 July 2017, 10:11 IST

Attention men, you may want to tell your wife that she is beautiful more often as a recent study has found that women who think their husbands are more attractive than them are at an increased risk of developing eating disorder and dissatisfaction with life.

The Florida State University research showed that wives, who crash-diet to slim down, are often driven to do so because they felt that their husbands are better-looking than them.

The finding indicated that women's risk of developing more extreme weight-loss behaviours is linked to other forms of psychological distress - depression, anxiety, substance abuse and dissatisfaction with life.

They also found that men were rarely motivated to do the same, regardless of how attractive they considered their wives to be.

Lead author Tania Reynolds said that if they understand how women's relationships affect their decision to diet and the social predictors for developing unhealthy eating behaviours, then they will be better able to help them.

"One way to help these women is for partners to be very reaffirming, reminding them, You're beautiful. I love you at any weight or body type," Reynolds added.

Reynolds and fellow researcher Dr Andrea Meltzer, assistant professor of psychology at FSU, (What?)

The researchers explained that understanding the predictors that increase a woman's risk of developing eating disorders and other health problems could lead to earlier assistance.

The team examined 113 newlywed couples - married less than four months with average age of late 20s and living in the Dallas area - who agreed to be rated on their attractiveness.

Each participant completed a lengthy questionnaire focusing in part on their desire to diet or have a thin body.

The research appears in the journal Body Image.


First published: 18 July 2017, 10:11 IST