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OBJECTIVE: The primary aim of the present study was to develop an ecologically valid method for assessing the perception of body size (as opposed to the memory of body size). METHOD: Women with clinical eating disorders (N = 14) and no eating disorder (N = 24) estimated their actual and desired body size while looking in a mirror. Estimations were made using projected images that were the same height as the participants' reflections in the mirror. RESULTS: This new method assessed the perception of body size under conditions that resembled the real-life situation of viewing oneself in a mirror. Participants with eating disorders significantly overestimated their body size relative to controls (p <.05) and tended to be more dissatisfied with their body size (p =.07). DISCUSSION: It is argued that the new method assesses the perception of body size, is ecologically valid, and is the most clinically relevant of the methods developed to date.

Original publication

DOI

10.1002/eat.10097

Type

Journal article

Journal

Int J Eat Disord

Publication Date

12/2002

Volume

32

Pages

458 - 465

Keywords

Adult, Analysis of Variance, Body Constitution, Body Image, Body Mass Index, Case-Control Studies, Feeding and Eating Disorders, Female, Humans, Interview, Psychological, Personal Satisfaction, Self-Assessment, Surveys and Questionnaires